In the meantime I thought I’d put up this stopgap post to highlight some relevant research from a recently published report from Childwise.
It's no secret that there is a big difference between the gender breakdown of buyers and the gender breakdown of readers in the the picture book market. A 2013 Bowker report on the UK, US and Canadian children’s book market showed that 84% of picture book buyers are female.
|84% of picture books are bought by female customers.|
Source: Bowker- Understanding the Children's Book Consumer in the Digital Age 2013
The report looked at eight other preschool product categories (clothes, days out, organized activities, footwear, magazines, DVDs/Blu-Rays, apps and games) and found that collectively parents spend 16% more on girls than boys each month (£101 per month on boys £117 per month on girls). Parents spend more on preschool girls than boys in every category except ‘DVDs/Blu-Rays’ and ‘apps and games’ where there was an equal spend on both sexes.
I think it’s reasonable to suggest that, following the law of supply and demand, this gender skew in preschool book demand might play some part in the skewed gender appeal of the output of the picture book industry.
woman-only panel. I wrote a series of posts about this in 2013-2014 explaining why I think gender-balanced judging of this and other children’s book awards could help to close the gender gap in children’s reading for pleasure. You can find a summary of the main points in this post.