Mattel executives say they did not anticipate the runaway success of the goth-influenced Monster High brand when it debuted in 2010. Mattel hide caption

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Kids play with toy cars like the Cozy Coupe partly because they want to imitate their parents: turn a steering wheel, open a door, strap a Christmas tree to the roof. But toy cars aren't just fun and games; they can suggest future trends in the automobile industry. Frank Guido/Flickr hide caption

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There's a workshop, too, complete with some work on a chalkboard and a robot. Lego hide caption

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Paola Guanche debuted with Adele's "Turning Tables." Courtesy Telemundo hide caption

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At a San Jose, Calif. library, a young reader browses a shelf of books featuring a variety of main characters: ducks, hens, white kids, black kids. Libraries help drive demand for children's books with nonwhite characters, but book publishers say there aren't enough libraries to make those books best-sellers. San Jose Library/Flickr hide caption

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The traditional Kendama is making a splash with kids. Norasit Kaewsai/iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Monkey See

The Kendama: Can A Wooden Toy Be A Viral Sensation?

The kendama is a traditional wooden toy, but its appeal is spreading rapidly.

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Legos and other interlocking toys are only one kind of blocks that remain popular with kids. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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When you need to illustrate a story about proliferating social-media platforms, it's good to know that an enterprising stock photographer has probably thought about it already. Anatoliy Babiy/iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Finn is in the middle, with the skinny arms. Jake is the dog. Together, they have Adventure Time. Cartoon Network hide caption

itoggle caption Cartoon Network

Sue Glader wrote Nowhere Hair after finding many children's books about cancer that were too depressing or scary. Courtesy Sue Glader hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Sue Glader

José-Luis Orozco is as much an educator as an entertainer: The singer and author is passionate about teaching children to be bilingual through music. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The 1939 film The Wizard Of Oz was rated G. The 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful was rated PG. The difference? Maybe a little violence and a womanizing leading man. AP/Walt Disney Pictures hide caption

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Cierra Ramirez, Teri Polo, and Jake T. Austin star in ABC Family's The Fosters. Randy Holmes/ABC Family hide caption

itoggle caption Randy Holmes/ABC Family