• Free copies of Mr Silly are available for families to collect at McDonald’s this Thursday 7th March, as part of the company’s pledge to provide a further 7 million books per year between now and 2026
  • The commitment comes as the National Literacy Trust confirm 1 in 5 young children still do not have access to a book at home1
  • In partnership with Charity World Book Day®, from now until the 26th March, Happy Meal® boxes also come with a World Book Day token     

This World Book Day®, children up and down the country will be enjoying a day full of celebrating reading and choosing a favourite book character to dress up as, with Lydia Bright’s daughter, Loretta, being no exception.

Loretta joined mum Lydia to visit to their local McDonald’s in Chingford to pick up a FREE copy of Mr Silly. Thousands of copies of Mr Silly are being given away at participating McDonald’s across the UK, part of the restaurant’s ongoing partnership with the charity, World Book Day.

During their visit, Loretta also enjoyed a Mr. Men™ Little Miss™ Happy Meal® which, from now until the 26th March, comes with a World Book Day token on the box, that entitles kids to a free World Book Day 2024 book or £1 off a book or audiobook in participating booksellers.

The National Literacy Trust recently confirmed that 1 in 5 children aged 5 – 8 still do not have a book of their own at home.1 That’s an average 6 children in every UK classroom - the highest percentage since 2019.

As the UK’s largest provider of books McDonald’s is on a mission to get more children reading, with over 160 million books distributed to date. As part of this commitment, McDonald’s has announced it will provide a further 7 million books per year between now and 2026.

Lydia Bright, mum of Loretta age 4, says “Loretta has always loved books and watching her starting to learn to read makes me so proud. Especially as she begins to sound out letters and words in front of her. Not only is reading such an essential part of learning, it’s also one of Loretta's favourite things to do – we love books before bedtime, it is such a magical part of our day. 

“Sadly, not all kids have the same access to books, which is why I’m proud to be partnering with McDonald’s this World Book Day, as it continues its mission of encouraging more children to love reading books.

“Having books available in Happy Meal's and giving them away for free on World Book Day are just some of the ways McDonald’s gets them into more little hands whilst reinforcing the message that reading is fun.   Nothing makes Loretta giggle more than a funny word or when I put on silly voices.”

McDonald’s recognises the importance of children reading for pleasure – aligning with this year’s World Book Day campaign ‘Read Your Way’. New research by McDonald’s reveals just how important it is for children to have fun with reading, with 77% of parents saying it’s their child’s favourite activity to do with a family member.2

Parents continue to look for fun ways to get their kids excited about reading –, saying their child most enjoys when they put on different voices for the characters (57%), or when there are words that are thought to be naughty such as burp or fart (53%) and funny sounding words such as Oompa-Lumpa (50%).2

Reading isn’t just an enjoyable activity, over nine in ten (92%) agree that reading has helped develop their child’s creativity and imagination, with a similar proportion saying it has developed their memory (88%) and 85% their child’s empathy and social understanding.2

World Book Day’s 2024 ‘Read Your Way’ campaign encourages children to see reading as an enjoyable activity they can do alone, with friends or together as a family. To find out more visit


More about World Book Day®

World Book Day® is a charity that changes lives through a love of books and reading. Our mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them. Designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe.  

World Book Day® is a registered charity no. 1079257 and a company limited by guarantee no. 03783095 registered in England and Wales.  Registered address: 6 Bell Yard, London, WC2A 2JR. World Book Day® and the associated logo are the registered trademarks of World Book Day® Limited.

More about National Literacy Trust

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity that empowers children, young people, and adults with the literacy skills they need to succeed. Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills give you the tools to get the most out of life, and the power to shape your future.  From first words, through school days to training, jobs and beyond, together they’re helping people change their stories.


1.    Book ownership in 2023 | National Literacy Trust

2.    Research of 2,000 UK respondents (with children aged 5-8) commissioned by McDonald’s, conducted by Opinium.

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