This month, branches of McDonalds across the country will be giving away around nine million children’s books in their Happy Meals as part of a promotion which aims to get children and families reading together, improve literacy and increase children’s creativity.
From today until 7th February copies of six stories from former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s Mudpuddle Farm series will be handed out free with Happy Meals. Finger puppets of characters from the series will accompany each book to encourage parents to read with and bring the stories to life with their children.
The promotion is being backed by Harper Collins, who publish the Mudpuddle Farm series, and The National Literacy Trust, whose recent research revealed that one in three children in Britain do not own a book. Director Jonathan Douglas said:
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.
Having seen for ourselves how valuable just one book can be to children, and having reached so many with Our Read we think that such a promotion is a fantastic way to extend the reach of reading. Given that eight out of ten families with young children visit McDonalds at least once a year, it’s great to know that they’re contributing to getting more children reading.