McDonald's Replacing Happy Meal Toys with Books

As the father of two American middle-class boys, I have a decisively First World problem. They have—and continually receive— too many toys. Every birthday, every Christmas, every other Tuesday, there’s some new trinket bestowed from grandparents, aunts, or passersby. As their father, I remain uniquely concerned with this “problem.” Everyone else seems to think they need more. I think they need less.

I therefore welcome the news that McDonald’s is trying an experiment with their Happy Meals this month. From Time:

[Kids will] get a book instead of a toy in their Happy Meals, now through Feb. 15..

… McDonald’s is including four different books in this experiment. Three of them are Valentine’s Day themed: Clark the Shark Takes Heart by Bruce Hale and illustrated by Guy Francis, Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond, and Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool by Kimberly and James Dean. The fourth book is the classic Paddington by Michael Bond and illustrated by R. W. Alley.

Happy Meal toys usually end up in the garbage anyway, secretly stowed by yours truly at the first diversionary opportunity. The boys don’t seem to miss them. So this will definitely provide more value than before.