If you’d asked me when I was younger what my favourite books were, 100% I would have given you the name of a Roald Dahl book. Most likely, ‘The Witches’ or ‘James and the Giant Peach’. Being an English teacher now, I just know that reading books with such imagination and adventure in them definitely whetted my appetite for literature. I even remember Quentin Blake doing a library tour in my area, and I managed win a drawing that he did for us when we went to his workshop. My Mum claims that she has no idea what happened to it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it ended up in the bin when we moved house. I could cry.

But I digress…

Last Saturday, myself, Amelia and Adam attended an ‘extraordinary’ story telling session of Roald Dahl’s Matilda at McDonald’s Bangor restaurant provided by Young at Art, Northern Ireland’s leading arts provider for children and young people, as part of McDonald’s Happy Readers campaign.

Happy Readers 2

It was a really fun morning, with story telling for the kids in our own special corner of the restaurant, some other boys and girls to play with, and of course, facepainting – which Amelia instantly availed of, requesting a ‘purple butterfly with sprinkles’ or as she says ‘pinkles’.

Recently a new inter-generational UK survey by McDonald’s showed that, Matilda first published in the UK in 1988, was revealed to be the most read book in Belfast, with 56% of book lovers having been enthralled by the story of Matilda.

I loved it myself as a little girl, and I know it will be one of the first chapter books that I will read to Amelia and Adam as they get older. The story telling session brought the story of Matilda to life, with the whimsical characters and colourful events being performed by our two fantastic storytellers – the children were enthralled. And how could they not be? With such a fantastic author as Roald Dahl as the creative mind behind such wonderful tales.

Happy Readers 1

The McDonald’s Happy Readers campaign was created to put more books into the hands of children and families with 14 million books featuring extracts from Roald Dahl’s most popular books being distributed as part of McDonald’s Roald Dahl Happy Meals. There’s also a companion app available, that will bring to life scenes straight from Dahl’s imagination through sounds, colour and motion. I’m definitely going to try it out with my little ones.

As Roald Dahl said himself;

“All you do is to look

At a page in this book

Because that’s where we always will be.

No book ever ends

When it’s full of your friends”