In the United Kingdom, over the next four weeks, massive fast food chain McDonald’s will give out 9 million Mudpuddle Farm books with their popular, kid-targeted Happy Meals as part of a tie-in with publisher HarperCollins. The promotion will include six titles from the Mudpuddle Farm series, including Mossop’s Last Chance, Albertine, Goose Queen; Pigs Might Fly!; Jigger’s Day Off; Martians at Mudpuddle Farm; and Mum’s the Word. All books are written by Michael Morpurgo.
According to the UK’s Telegraph, sales of children’s books in 2011 averaged 1.16 million per week, or 6.4 million in a four week period. This means that, with the sales of Happy Meals, McDonald’s will be issuing substantially more children’s books than are usually sold in the same timeframe.
But don’t fret, toy enthusiasts. The Happy Meals will still come with a toy. Finger puppets relating to the series of books will also be included.
McDonald’s book promotion is going over well with literacy advocates, including the UK’s National Literacy Trust. Its director, Jonathan Douglas, said, “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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