Okay, by a show of hands, who has a collection of Happy Meal toys? Have you ever gone to McDonald's and ordered a Happy Meal without any children in your car just to see if you can get a toy to complete a series? If this is you, or anyone you know, take a deep breathe as you read this next line. McDonald's won't be putting toys in Happy Meals, for at least the next few weeks, and they have a really good reason why.

Illiteracy, according to Reading is Fundamental, has reached epic proportions in the United States with an alarming rate of 64% of fourth-graders reading at or below that basic level and 93 million adults lack sufficient reading skills to further their careers or to help make their dreams come true. A lack of access to books is a key factor, with two-thirds of our children not having a book to call their own.

McDonald's wants to do something about this. They've teamed up with Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and will be distributing over 17 million children books to our kids to read as they munch away. The titles are pretty good too, 'Paddington', 'Pete the Cat', 'Clark the Shark Takes Heart', and 'Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse'. They will be a little smaller than the traditional child's paperback, so as to fit in the Happy Meal, and will also be offered in Spanish in some markets.

Job well done McDonald's.