The principle point/beef in this post – “the gatekeepers in the world of picture books are overwhelmingly female” – is difficult to gainsay and the fact that there will not be a single male perspective involved in the selection of the winning Greenaway title is only one small part of the situation which Emmett is trying to put out into the open.
Jake Hope, who takes issue with Emmett in the comments section beneath the blog post, is a tireless advocate of children’s books and loyal to his librarian background, but it would be interesting to hear from other male illustrators and picture book authors to see if they also feel their natural style is being cramped by a prevailing feminine sensibility within children’s book publishing that means “picture books with boy-friendly themes tend to be cuter and tamer than similarly themed TV shows, films or video games.”
All thirteen judges on this year’s Greenaway and Carnegie Medal panel are women. Last year there was only one man. Although there are plenty of men writing and illustrating picture books, the gatekeepers in the world of picture books are overwhelmingly female. If the full range of boys’ tastes aren’t represented, how can we expect them to take an interest?