Are boys put off books at a crucial age because they perceive them as too cute and feminine?
Read the very well-argued pdf and see what you think.
It's my experience [says Emmett] that a great many books that the industry perceives as having cross-gender appeal (including many I've written) are actually far more appealing to girls. And, while books targeted at girls are usually uncompromising in the way that they maximise their girl-appeal, books targeted at boys usually have their boy-appeal compromised to some degree. In short, the picture book industry is biased towards producing books that appeal more to girls than boys.
Do read the whole piece. It really is worth your time.