MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 29: Children eat a new Happy Meal at the McDonald's restaurant in Collingwood on August 29, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. The new Happy Meal is a low fat alternative to the fast food chain's traditional Happy Meal. Childhood obesity is a major health issue in Australia and has tripled in the last 20 years with one in six Australian children classed as obese. (Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images)
Photo: Kristian Dowling
Photo: Kristian Dowling

McDonald's Happy Meals replacing toys with books

The next time parents order a Happy Meal from McDonald's, they might find a book inside the meal's packaging instead of a toy.

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The company announced Tuesday that the treats inside kids' meals would change until Feb. 15 as part of an experiment. The meals will contain one of five miniaturize-size paperback books.

The move encourages McDonald's partnership with literacy nonprofit group Reading Is Fundamental. The fast-food chain recently donated 100,000 books to the organization.

"Reading Is Fundamental is pleased to partner with McDonald’s again this year and (to) provide much-needed books to children who have limited access to them," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "Books are the building blocks for a better future. They foster the imagination, expand our understanding of the world and fuel a lifelong love of learning. We’re pleased McDonald’s is helping millions of children discover the joy of reading."

The Valentine's Day-themed books include "Clark the Shark Takes Heart," "Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!," "Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day Is Cool" and "Paddington."

This is the third time McDonald's has temporarily swapped the toys for books. The Los Angeles Times reported that the company will distribute another 17 million children's books by the end of the promotion. 

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