McDonald’s offers kids free e-books

Fast food chain McDonald’s is teaming up with Kobo to offer free downloads of children’s books for the first time.
From today (30th April), every Happy Meal box will come with an e-book voucher allowing customers to download Famous Five book Five and A Half-Term Adventure by Enid Blyton (Hodder Children’s Books).
McDonald’s said it decided to venture into e-books after consultation with the National Literacy Trust (NLT), whose research shows that kids’ ownership and access to tablets has grown in recent years.
“Kids today have come to know and expect content in digital form and introducing free e-books to the Happy Meal is another way in which we’re creating choice and keeping in step with our customers,” said Alistair Macrow, senior v.p. at McDonald’s UK. “As a customer-led business, it’s essential that we’re always listening to what our customers want.”
Children will be able to download the Famous Five story until 17th June.
Jonathan Douglas, director of the NLT, said reading in all forms, including digital, is beneficial to children.
“Our research shows that three-quarters of parents and practitioners agree that it is important for children to learn to use technology from an early age to get on at school, so the ever-expanding world of e-books and digital content provides an exciting opportunity to get more kids interested and engaged in reading,” he said.
However, McDonald’s said it is not deserting print books and the Happy Meal boxes will also contain one of six Secret Seven stories, again written by Blyton and published by Hodder, and a £1 voucher that can be used to buy a Secret Seven or Famous Five book at WHSmith or Eason.
The tie-in with Hodder will run until 3rd June and is part of the McDonald’s Happy Readers campaign, an initiative launched in 2012 to encourage children in the UK to read.