While licensing is often associated with formats such as board books, coloring and activity titles and storybooks, it also plays a role in the children's art-instruction market. A case in point: Walter Foster Publishing, which uses familiar licenses to attract children to its how-to-draw titles. "Licensing is pretty much the core of our business," said Angela Seda, sales coordinator at Walter Foster.

The company holds rights for properties from Disney (including Finding Nemo, Disney Princesses, Lilo & Stitch and the upcoming film Brother Bear), Nickelodeon (SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer) and Cartoon Network (Scooby-Doo, Powerpuff Girls). It recently acquired My Little Pony from Hasbro and has other deals pending, according to Seda.