Man at His Best

US McDonald's Is Replacing Happy Meal Toys With Children's Books

Happy Meals in the US now have books, not toys.

BY RHEANNA O'NEIL BELLOMO | Feb 9, 2016 | Books

Image from Getty

McDonald's is removing toys from its Happy Meals—at least for the next few weeks. Now through February 15, Happy Meals will include a book instead of a plastic, pop culture-driven toy. McDonald's plans to distribute more than 17 million children's books to kids who chow down on their pint-size fries during this time.

There are four top titles in the mix, including Paddington, Pete the Cat, Clark the Shark Takes Heart, and Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse. Each book has been specially made to fit inside the trademark Happy Meal box, with the petite paperbacks measuring about 4 inches by 5 inches. The brand is even offering Spanish-language versions at some locations. 

This campaign is the result of a partnership between McDonald's and a literacy nonprofit, Reading is Fundamental, and this is actually the third year that the Golden Arches has swapped toys for books. McDonald's also donated 100,000 books to the organisation this year. Happy Meal, indeed. 

First published in Esquire US.