So, still thinking about this post about boy and girl books, I did an informal survey of the YA new releases section at my local Barnes and Noble, and found that (based on the covers) 59 out of 85 books skewed clearly toward female readers, or 69 percent.
And then tammypierce pointed me to a study showing that picture books are skewed toward male readers: as of 2007 there were nearly twice as many boys as main and title characters as there were girls. That puts the “boy” books at around two-thirds, or 66 percent, of all picture books.
In other words, picture books are as strongly skewed toward boys as young adult books are skewed toward girls.
Given all the concern the children’s book field seems to feel on behalf of teen boys and their limited reading choices, I’d like to see the same level of concern on behalf of young girls, please–and the same level of interest in addressing the imbalance and encouraging the writing of more “girl” focused picture books.
Especially since teen boys at least have the option of visiting other sections of the bookstore or library (nonfiction, adult SF/fantasy), while a kindergarten-aged girl is more strongly limited to materials aimed at readers/listeners her age.