McDonald’s to offer books with Happy Meals instead of toys

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If you want to encourage your child to read more, McDonald’s wants to help!

Now through February 15, the fast food giant is offering books with its famous Happy Meals instead of toys. 

Read more: Why a family physician says parents these days are raising kids all wrong

The Happy Meals will include one of these four titles, three of which have Valentine’s themes:

  • ‘Paddington’ by Michael Bond, illustrated by R. W. Alley
  • ‘Clark the Shark Takes Heart” by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Guy Francis
  • “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!” by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  • “Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool” by Kimberly and James Dean

The mini books are made exclusively to fit into Happy Meal bags, and Spanish-language versions of the books will be available at some stores.

McDonald’s commitment to literacy

We have a significant literacy problem in America. Almost 65% of 4th graders read at or below the basic reading level, and 75% of kids who are considering ‘poor readers’ by the completion of 3rd grade ultimately fall behind in school. 

Studies show that reading a book to a child at bedtime plays an important part in the child’s growth and development. In addition, learning to read keeps kids in school, increases graduation rates, and kids who are strong readers are much more likely to go to college than those who are not. 

McDonald’s has made a commitment to literacy by partnering with the nonprofit organization Reading is Fundamental, donating 100,000 books this year to RIF. 

By the end of this year, McDonald’s will have distributed over 50 million books to children in America through its Happy Meals since 2013, enough books for every child under age 12! That’s over twice the number of children’s books cataloged at the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library. Making sure kids have access to books has been shown to increase literacy in the U.S. 

Now that’s something to be happy about.

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Read more: How do you teach kids about money?



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