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When Kelly Barrales-Saylor was a new mom, she got a lot of children's books as gifts. Most were simple books about shapes, colors and letters. There were none about science — or math.

"My editorial brain lit up and said there must be a need for this," says Barrales-Saylor, who works as an editor for a publishing company outside Chicago.

Halfway across the world, Chris Ferrie was similarly unsatisfied.

When reading to his kids, Ferrie noticed that most books used animals to introduce new words. In today's world, that just didn't make sense to him.

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In China, a futuristic new kind of urban transport that was intended to beat traffic jams appears now to have gone off the rails. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has the story from Beijing.

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Two big events are shifting a lot of attention overseas, one we expected and one we did not.

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