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 most book buyers are women or that most picture books are purchased by mothers and grandmothers. 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.
UPDATE Feb 2017: Since I published this post in October 2016, Jake Hope has been added to 2017 Carnegie and Greenaway Judging Panel changing the balance to 13 women and 1 man.