McDonald's to swap Happy Meal toys for books in the U.K.

Kids at McDonald's in the U.K. will be receiving books instead of toys in their Happy Meals. (Associated Press)

Would you like a side of literature with your burger?

Fast food giant McDonald's is launching a campaign in the U.K. to replace the toys in their iconic Happy Meals with books.

The home of the Big Mac has committed to distributing 15 million books in England by the end of 2014, which would actually make it the U.K.'s largest book distributor, the Telegraph newspaper reports. This follows a successful pilot program last year in which the burger company gave away nine million books by Michael Morpurgo, the prolific children's book writer and author of War Horse.

This campaign is sponsored in part by the England's National Literacy Trust in an effort to boost interest in reading among young people. A recent national survey found that 19 per cent of children and young people surveyed have never been given a book as a gift. Less than half (49 per cent) said they enjoyed reading very much, while 12 per cent said they did not enjoy reading at all.

McDonald's is launching the book giveaway with a five-week promotion offering non-fiction books from DK Book's Amazing World series.

So what's your take on this? Is this something you'd like to see in North America, or do you think most of the kids will toss the books aside and demand a toy? Let us know in the comments below.

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