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McDonald’s to put books in every Happy Meal

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Published:   |   Updated: October 10, 2013 at 06:37 PM

At least for the month of November, McDonald’s will actually become the largest book publisher in the nation.

This comes by way of a new project at the fast-food giant to insert free healthy-eating themed children’s books in every Happy Meal in lieu of plastic toys.

Locally, the project could run through the second week of December, and nationally the numbers could top 20 million books distributed. If plans succeed, the project could become a national campaign for McDonald’s.

To put that in perspective, the McDonald’s book drive would dwarf sales even some of the most popular books, including sales of the Hunger Games series last year.

The four books were created in partnership with both McDonald’s advertising agency, Leo Burnett, and there is a facet of the project that teams up with the Reading is Fundamental children literacy program that will distribute 100,000 Happy Meal books, “to children who do not have easy access to books.”

One aspect of the project addresses the common criticism of McDonald’s as a seller of unhealthy foods. One title, “The Goat Who Ate Everything,” tells the story of a hungry goat who struggles to eat right, but feels great when he does. Another is “Ant, Can’t” that features a body-building ant who encourages people to eat healthily.

On Nov. 1, McDonald’s will launch free digital book titles to parents who download the “McPlay” app on their mobile devices, with a new title each month; the first being “The World’s Greatest Cities,” published by DK.

rmullins@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7919 Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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