8 Happy Meal Books

My two children love to read, and we have many DK non-fiction books on animals and other topics. I managed to get 8 McDonald’s non-fiction books for children. The first set of animal books is for children aged 3 – 5 years. The second set of non-fiction topics such as space and human body is for children aged 7 – 9 years.

watch me grow mcdonalds wow mcdonalds books

El had actually read the first book on pandas as my husband went to buy a Happy Meal for him. Instead of toys, they are giving out books. This is a great idea as I think we should encourage more children to read.

mcdonalds happy meal box

The books are thin and small, so they are very handy to bring them around.


Gar  even read them while waiting for El to get his hair cut.

gar reading panda

The first book is on pandas. He started by looking at the pictures. It was so interesting to find out that baby pandas are white with black ears when they are born. A few weeks later, their limbs become black.

panda 3 The book had little flaps that you could open and reveal more information.
pand 2

When I had a little more time at home, I read the another book about elephants to him. It traces the life of a baby elephant. Gar had many questions about why the baby elephant could not stand immediately. I shared with him how babies take nine months or more to walk, while the baby elephant could walk hours after being born.

elephant 2

Gar hates being dirty, so he was quite surprised to find out that elephants cover themselves in mud to keep themselves cool. He asked why one of the elephants had a white head.

elephant 1

He also asked about the elephants who were swimming, and what their trunks were for. It was a great chance for us to discuss about animals.

Other books included penguins and butterflies.

penguin 2

butterfly caterpillars

El had read the book, Wow! Ancient History, on his own.

el reading ancient history

“Hey, do you know the word ‘philosophy’ means ‘love of wisdom’?” he asked.

I used the quiz at the back of the book to see how much he had recalled.

el history quiz

What were the first prehistoric tools made out of?

  1. Stone, bone and wood
  2. Wood, plastic, and copper
  3. Ice, bone and mud

He thought for a while and finally said, ‘a: stone, bone and wood’. That was right.

I asked him something that was mentioned in the book.

“What is silk made from?”

Without skipping a beat, he said, “cobwebs!”

The family burst into laughter.

There are many other books with colourful pages. These books are a great way to introduce these topics to primary school students. I had even learnt a number of things from the books. There are occasion quizzes with answers at the back.

wow human body 1 wow human body 2 wow art and culture wow art and culture 1

These set of books could definitely last us for some time. My children really enjoyed reading them.

You could get the different sets of books in the month of September. They will be available from 11am on every Thursday, while stocks last. The schedule is as follows:

Week 1: 3 Sep – 9 Sep 
1. Watch me grow! Panda

Week 2: 10 Sep – 16 Sep
1. Watch me grow! Butterfly

Week 3: 17 Sep – 23 Sep
1. Watch me grow! Elephant

Week 4: 24 Sep – 30 Sep
1. Watch me grow! Penguin

There will also be art and craft, and fun reading at the following McDonald’s restaurants from 10am to 12pm, subject to changes.

12 Sep – West Coast Park
13 Sep – Jurong Central Park
19 Sep – Bishan Park
20 Sep – Ang Mo Kio Park
26 Sep – Kallang
27 Sep – Ridout Tea Garden

Go get the whole sets now.
gar with box Note: I have received the two sets of books from McDonald’s for this review.

Overexcitabilities And Cartoon Characters

Which cartoon characters have overexcitabilities? Gifted children can be very intense, and their responses could be vastly different from other children.  Dabrowski has identified 5 types of overexcitabilities. People who create cartoon characters tend to be very talented, and sometimes base them on themselves and other people they know. There are many intelligent cartoon characters, so I thought I would try my hand at identifying some with overexcitabilities.
overexcitabilities and cartoon characters 1

  1. Intellectual Overexcitability


“Lisa Simpson” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Lisa Simpson is a second-grader who plays the baritone saxophone. She is also highly intelligent and often supports many causes, such as vegetarianism. She constantly challenges people’s views. Gifted children with intellectual overexcitability are concerned with ethical issues and they relish intellectual discussions.

With the easy access to various social media tools, it is easier for them to speak to an audience about their views. They could easily write on their blogs, post updates on Facebook, produce videos on Youtube about various issues they wish to debate. Sometimes, they may appear to be so critical and disrespectful. One example is Amos Yee, a Singaporean teenager, who loves to produce Youtube videos and write lengthy blog posts about issues he is deeply passionate about, but ends up offending numerous groups of people, including people who have supported him and tried to help him. It would be good if he could receive guidance on how not to be so direct and critical, even if other people could not match his arguments.

  1. Sensual Overexcitability

Spiderman50“Spiderman50” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Spider-Man had heightened senses after being bitten by a radioactive spider. He had a spider-sense where he could feel vibrations in the air.

Once, I took seasickness pills before going on a ferry ride over rough waters. When I landed in Bintan, an Indonesian resort island about 40 minutes away, I felt as if I was Spider-Man with heightened senses. The smell of lemongrass at the resort was overpowering, and I could not bear to touch my husband’s hand. The sound of people talking was loud and I felt terrible. It was only after resting a night that the side effects of the seasickness pills went away. For some gifted children with sensual overexcitability, the heightened senses never go away, and they have to learn how to cope with them.

My sons are so irritated by loud music, fireworks, scratchy clothing tags and many more, so I try to reduce such offensive stimuli to them. The first time I tried toilet training Gar, he was so upset with the tags on the underwear that I had to cut every single one away. If his shirt has a few drops of water, he wants to change out of it immediately. He nearly had a meltdown at the beach when he touched sand, until my husband managed to help him overcome the strange sensation.

  1. Psychomotor Overexcitability


“Powerpuff girls characters” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

I have only watched a few Powerpuff Girls episodes, but I do think that they seem to have this! Bubbles has on one occasion singlehandedly taken down Mojo Jojo when she had a violent outburst. She has superhuman speed as well. She can also speak many languages. Buttercup loves fighting, airboxing, martial arts, dodgeball and water guns.

Children with psychomotor overexcitability are just extremely active and energetic. They either talk a lot or move a lot and may be even considered as having ADHD.

When I take El to piano class, he is squirming and moving on the bench. His younger brother, Gar, jumps on the sofa all the time, and loves to jump off the table. Whenever he sees the lift handle bars, he would immediately grab them and swing from them. He could even do pull ups on them. He talks loudly in his sleep.

  1. Imaginational Overexcitability

Calvin_and_Hobbes_Original “Calvin and Hobbes Original” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes must definitely have imaginational overexcitiability. He has an entire universe together with Hobbes, his stuffed tiger. Sometimes gifted children who are too bored in the classroom create their own universe to cope. I suppose extremely talented writers such as Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchet and J.K Rowling have extremely vivid imagination.

It is important to ensure that children do not blur the lines between the virtual world and reality. There are many stories about gifted children with imaginary friends. What my friends have learnt is not to ask.

  1. Emotional Overexcitability


“Charlie Brown” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

Would Charlie Brown be a good representation of emotional overexcitability? Some may say he is neurotic, but this boy is sensitive. He cares deeply for his friends. Or would The Incredible Hulk be a better example? After all, he flies into rage and transforms.

Gar seems to have emotional overexcitability. When he is angry, he flies off the handle. He gets extremely upset when relatives go home after looking after him in the day or evening. Sometimes he feels very aggrieved over certain issues, and cries. He would ask for tissue papers to wipe his tears and then blow his nose. He is also extremely jealous of his brother, and had wanted to claim his brother’s painting as his own. On many occasions, he was actually in the wrong, but somehow he just overreacts. You know what they say about Melbourne, the Australian city’s weather? There are four seasons in a day. For Gar, he can have a wide variety of emotions (happy, angry, jealous and sad) in the space of an hour.


There are some strategies to help gifted children to cope with their overexcitabilities. Check them out at SENG, and also if you are a teacher, you can learn some strategies to handle overexcited students. Do you know of any other cartoon characters that might share some of the overexcitabilities?

This post is part of a blog hop by Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page in September on Overexcitabilities. Check out other blogs too.



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