I hope you’re not too attached to that little toy that comes in Happy Meals; it’s going away for a while.  The UK branch of McDonald’s hs replaced it with a book. They’re currently giving away 9,000,000 copies of the Mudpuddle Farm book series by British author Michael Morpurgo.

This program was created in partnership with HarperCollins and the UK nonprofit National Literacy Trust. It started last week, and it is scheduled to run until 7 February. It follows research released by the NLT in December that nearly third of children in the UK do not own even a single 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.”

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