McDonald's and HarperCollins partner to bundle reading books inside Happy Meals

In the U.S., childhood obesity opponents have been pressuring McDonald's to deliver healthier Happy Meals to kids by trying to ban toys inside unhealthy meals.

In the U.K. childhood literacy advocates are manipulating McDonald’s in a different way, by partnering with them to hand out around nine million popular children’s books with its Happy Meals for a month. It is part of a new partnership with publishing house HarperCollins aimed at getting books into the hands of families and to support parents in reading with their children.

From now until early February, McDonald’s will offer its Happy Meals customers copies of the much-loved Mudpuddle Farm series of books by Michael Morpurgo, former children’s laureate and War Horse author.

The announcement follows research released by the National Literacy Trust in December which revealed that almost four million children in Britain – one in three – do not own a book.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of The National Literacy Trust, commented: “Our recent research showed that one in three children in this country don’t own a book, which is extremely concerning as there is a clear link between book ownership and children's future success in life.  We are very supportive of McDonald’s decision to give families access to popular books, as its size and scale will be a huge leap towards encouraging more families to read together.”

Families will be able to take home copies of favourite titles including ‘Mossop’s Last Chance’ and ‘Martians at Mudpuddle Farm’.  Each book comes with a finger puppet to help parents bring the stories to life for their children, and to encourage children of all reading abilities to use their imagination and create their own tales.

Hey HarperCollins, how about rolling out a similar campaign in the U.S.?

Source: National Literacy Trust

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