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UK McDonald’s Are Including Roald Dahl Books in Happy Meals

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For six weeks this fall, instead of finding plastic toys in their Happy Meals, children in the UK will receive books by Roald Dahl. The iconic author’s estate has joined forces with McDonald’s to produce 14 million custom-made books that will each include samples of two Roald Dahl titles. Some pairings include James and the Giant Peach and The BFGThe Twits and Matilda, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox

The campaign is backed by the National Literacy Trust, who surveyed and discovered that 15.4 percent of children in the UK don't own a book. This isn’t McDonald’s first attempt at encouraging young people to read—they’ve given away more than 22.8 million books through their Happy Readers program since 2013. In the past they’ve distributed titles from Enid Blyton and Dorling Kindersley’s Amazing World series.

The initiative launched in UK McDonald’s this past Wednesday and will continue into early November. Abigail Moss, the National Literacy Trust’s deputy director, believes that Roald Dahl is the perfect author to bridge a connection between parents and their children. “Many parents will have enjoyed the wonderful world of Roald Dahl when they were young and now they’ll be able to share these iconic stories with their children,” she says in a press release. “The scale of the campaign will reach millions of children, including many who haven’t owned a book before, inspiring them to enjoy reading and improving their life chances.” After millions of Dahl's books are distributed, hopefully his sense of magic and curiosity will have infected a new generation. 

[h/t: The Guardian]

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Hamilton Broadway
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A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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New Tolkien-Themed Botany Book Describes the Plants of Middle-Earth
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While reading The Lord of the Rings saga, it's hard not to notice J.R.R. Tolkien’s clear love of nature. The books are replete with descriptions of lush foliage, rolling prairies, and coniferous forests. A new botany book builds on that knowledge: Entertainment Weekly reports that Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium provides fantasy-loving naturalists with a round-up of plants that grow in Middle-earth.

Cover art for botanist Walter Judd's book
Oxford University Press

Written by University of Florida botanist Walter Judd, the book explores the ecology, etymology, and importance of over 160 plants. Many are either real—coffee, barley, wheat, etc.—or based on real-life species. (For example, pipe-weed may be tobacco, and mallorns are large trees similar to beech trees.)

Using his botany background, Judd explores why Tolkien may have felt compelled to include each in his fantasy world. His analyses are paired with woodcut-style drawings by artist Graham Judd, which depict Middle-earth's flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and shrubs in their "natural" environments.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]

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