Hi guys!

What Dot said is true. We are sometimes flooded with ampersands.

We have them on our couch.

photo 1

On our floor.

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Some of us took our name change as an opportunity to finger paint them on a Saturday night with a bottle
of wine.

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The point is that we love them. Here’s just ONE more reason why ampersands are so awesome: 
This Ampersand and That

- Tamara

I’m sure that everyone out there is getting very excited about the imminent arrival of Spring. In Vancouver 
we recently had some very beautiful weather followed immediately by the Deluge. That isn’t totally out of the ordinary however (LOL Vancouver am I right?),
because we here at Ampersand are in fact gearing up for Fall!

“Fall? In April?” you say. “But how can that be?”

Well, Fall hasn’t literally arrived, but our Fall 2014 Book season catalogues have begun to arrive!


Yes, like leaves from the boughs of a great tree, our backroom has received it’s first gentle coating of exciting
new catalogues. And, like leaves in Fall, we’ll soon be so covered in catalogues that we’ll need a leafblower
just to get around the office.

It’s at this point that I would like to be able to say “thankfully Fall only comes once a year”, but that’s true
in name only; although we call our other seasons “Spring” and Winter,” they always bring a fresh dump of


Growing up as a mixed kid, there weren’t a lot of characters I could relate to – characters who felt “other”.
Especially not in picture books. And more often than not, they didn’t really look like me.

Today, diversity in kidlit is a big topic. Recently, an op piece in the NYT talked about the issue of
representation in children’s books. So people are aware, which is definitely a good start. I know I, for one,
would love to see more diversity in books on all fronts – especially kid’s books.

That’s not to say there are still no books representing kids of colour. They exist – you just need to do a
little digging. For mixed kids like me, Second Story Press and Kids Can Press published picture books that
I really wish had existed when I was younger: Violet, and Spork.

Spork Violet

Violet is the story of a girl with a blue father and a red mother. In Spork, his mother is a spoon and his dad
is a fork – and he’s a little bit of both. And, of course, they’re about identity and belonging. I know these
books will be on my shelf when I have mixed kids of my own.

In fact, they might even be sitting on one of my shelves already, just for me. (What can I say… I’m a kid at 

- Vanessa

Next week I will regale you with talk of the books I read (between beachside naps) while away on vacation
but for this week, I raise a Miami Vice in everyone’s honour!


Do you ever notice that people connect you with quirky things?  If you had an odd name, they will comment
on the obvious ( if you’re called Shirley Holmes for instance).  Or, in my case, because I work for
Ampersand, if  they come across anything to do with an ampersand they will usually send it to me or
tell me about it.  I think before the company was called Ampersand that word wasn’t on the minds of
most of the people I know.  That said, I love ampersands and wanted to share a great one sent to me
last week.  Thanks for reading my first ever blog posting.   Dot

Ampersand Cheese and CrackersI am also posting a picture of the official dog in the Vancouver office.  Meet Eddie.

Eddie, the official dog of the Vancouver Ampersand Office

Our Vancouver office gets a lot of flak from our Toronto office for being a tropical paradise of balmy temperatures. However, this isn’t strictly true. The current temperature here is hovering around 9 degrees Celsius. LAST week, it actually was a balmy tropical paradise here, so I turned the heat off in my office for the season.

As usual, temperatures dropped somewhat and it’s a bit nippy here in the office today. I’m also chained to my desk, writing the Promo News. Since I can’t perform my usual cartwheels down the hall and the fire marshal told me I can’t burn coal, I’ve fallen back on the next best thing for warmth:


A cup of steaming hot water. Sourced from a spring located in our kitchenette, it’s exceptionally nutritious and all-natural. Unlike tea or coffee, you won’t experience a caffeine crash later, and if it’s piping hot enough, you can almost fool your brain into thinking it’s caffeinated via a sort of Pavlovian response. I’m thinking about starting a bottling facility here. Maybe my first customer can be the Ampersand Toronto Office?  Eau du Livre anyone?



Happy Day of Pink, all! Today is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia 
and Transphobia (aka Day of Pink). To celebrate, we’ve decided to go pink for the day – and highlight
some great books that deal with the issue of bullying.




Coming Soon





For more information, please check out the website: http://www.dayofpink.org/

- Vanessa


Hola amigos!

Si, it’s true I just came back from Cancun and plowed through 220 emails in 8.5 hours. As you can imagine, my mind is exhausted from taking a drastic turn from beaching, drinking and sleeping, to ONIX, sales reports, and email. Thank God there was an office Burger’s Priest break.


Now, don’t go thinking that I let my mind go to mush in the sun. I kept it working reading my beloved, beautiful Thunderbay Canterbury Classic edition of Pride and Prejudice. My biggest fret: not getting sunscreen all over it.



I did however, get sunscreen all over my Moleskine bag. BEST BEACH BAG EVER by the way. It zips up, keeping pesky sand out and has enough space to fit a small child in it…but don’t do that. Now, back to the grind!



- Tamara

Hello dear readers!

I was pondering what to write about for my first post, and I thought I should write about some exciting happening, but then I remembered that I am not actually that exciting a person! So instead I will advise you to never acquire a large, metal filing cabinet. They are impossible to get rid of! I’ve finally tracked down a company that will both take ours away and recycle them (that’s important to us!), but man, it was tough going. Nobody wants to touch those things with a ten foot pole. Not that I can blame them, they’re hideous and so. big.

Here I am, struggling away!




Hey all!

So, Ampersand is finally joining the 2000′s with a BLOG! Woohoo!

Though you may need to bear with us while we figure out how this thing works…

And in the meantime, to keep you entertained, here’s a picture of my puppy Koda (aka our unofficial office dog for Toronto) with one of my fave YA books of the year – The Winner’s Curse  by Marie Rutkoski:


Till next time!

~ Vanessa

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