McDonald’s replacing Happy Meal toys with books

Children who order a McDonald’s Happy Meal within the next two weeks will be in for a surprise when they see that the toy included in the meal has been replaced — by a book. 

From now until Feb. 15, one of four HarperCollins books will be featured as the prize in McDonald’s Happy Meals: “Paddington Bear,” “Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool,” “Clark the Shark Takes Heart” and “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!”

In a partnership with Reading is Fundamental to promote literacy, McDonald’s is working to “make it easier for children throughout the country to have access to interesting, captivating reading material.”

McDonald’s book program launched in 2013. According to the fast-food giant, by the end of this year, the company will have distributed the equivalent of one book for every child under the age of 12 in the United States — more than 50 million books.

To put this number into perspective, McDonald’s says they will have given out more than twice the number of children’s books that are cataloged in the Library of Congress, which has 23.9 million books.

Contact Caitlin Lilly at Find her on Twitter: @caitielilly_

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