Are you lovin' it?

11/01/2012 by Stacey Bartlett

What do you think about McDonalds giving out Michael Morpurgo’s books with Happy Meals?

Michael Morpurgo is the man of the moment, with his children’s classic War Horse released in cinemas this week; now 9 million copies of his Mudpuddle Farm series are being given away with McDonalds' Happy Meals.

The initiative follows research by the National Literacy Trust in December which revealed that almost four million children – one in three – do not own a book.
 
Morpurgo admitted in an article in the Independent he had to consider being involved with a fast-food restaurant, but the lure of helping so many children discover books was one he could not ignore: "It is so important to get children into books and to ingrain a love of literature. If that starts in a McDonald's, that's fine by me." 
 
So what are you saying on Twitter about the golden arches selling burgers with books on the side? We asked: Is it a good way to reach non-readers or is the Big M exploiting books?
 

@bookcasehebden Devaluing the book. Putting it on the same level as plastic landfill-bound tat. Probably.
 
@jamiefewery Some kids don't have access to books because they don't go in bookshops. This targets some of those kids & can only be good. Also remember that some of these young readers may well become adult readers because of stuff like this.
 
@barryhutchinson I think any scheme to get books into the hands of kids is good, particularly those from lower income families. BUT I also worry it further devalues books in general and makes them a cheap, disposable giveaway.
 
@ms_riot Giving kids books is healthier than a McNugget...
 
@jessicapatient I agree with @jamiefewery - anything encouraging children to read is good!
 
@FiShoop If it gets people reading, I'm all for it. In fact, I feel a Big Mac lunch coming on - 'free' books work for big kids, too!
 
@KGphotographer Exploiting books? Let's face it, no one chooses McD for a free book. So surely any opportunity to spark book interest good?
 
@kelvinbridger So many issues. Bad food affects brain development. But whose business is it to judge or dictate what a reader eats?
 
@louise_candlish Both, that's why it's known as a 'deal'. Great news, I think.
 
@frontofstore Macdonalds story is straight-down-the-middle good news. Books for wide range of kids outranks burger worries.
 
@trudyvarcianna If it gets more kids reading, especially those who don't own books, I don't see the problem. I really like this idea.
 
@guingb Cheap plastic toys = landfill; MM books = mindsfull
 
@mandajjennings I agree. It's a win for good writing & an admirable idea. Hope his stories reach a swathe of new kids!
 
@jonathanmeres *Whistles* Can't decide whether I'm loving it
 
 
Let us know what you think @welovethisbook.
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