Children’s book fans who love their lattes can enjoy a special treat this week at Starbucks. For the first time, the ubiquitous coffee shop chain, in partnership with Apple’s iBookstore, is offering a children’s book as part of its Pick of the Week promotion. Customers can receive a free download of Artemis Fowl: Book One by Eoin Colfer (Disney-Hyperion) from iTunes when they use a code found on the Pick of the Week cards distributed in Starbucks stores. The giveaway arrives on the heels of the publication of the eighth and final book in Colfer’s series, Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, which was released in July.

Starbucks and Apple have enjoyed a fruitful alliance since 2006, when Apple first featured a special Starbucks section in the iTunes Music Store. Beginning in 2007 customers could access iTunes wi-fi music downloads inside Starbucks stores, and a month-long Song of the Day promotion that same year generated six million downloads. As a result of that success, in 2008 the companies’ giveaway idea evolved into the Pick of the Week program which offered customers a free song or music video download each week. Just last year, in August 2011, the Pick of the Week program in the U.S. expanded beyond music to include extended book excerpts (and sometimes short stories, essays, etc.), apps, and TV shows from the iTunes store.

The Starbucks team handpicks the selections “based on consumer insights, timelines, and trends,” according to Linda Mills, senior manager of global brand PR for the company. “Naturally, we want to showcase the content that will be most relevant and timely for our customers,” she says. “The Pick of the Week program continues to build on our digital offerings, focusing on finding new and innovative ways to engage our customers.” A limited supply of the weekly promotional cards is available at participating Starbucks operated and licensed stores in the U.S. (Starbucks locations in Canada also participate in the program).

The Starbucks Digital Network that customers can access inside U.S. stores continues to grow and offers a selection of news, entertainment, and lifestyle content along with local coverage and events. As a key feature, the Starbucks Digital Network offers weekly selections from iTunes, highlighted by the Pick of the Week music track. Starbucks-recommended podcasts, apps, and other items from the iTunes store are also featured weekly.