FIRST, A NOTE OF INTRODUCTION FROM JULES…
Hi there, those who have hopped onto the Number Five Bus. Jules from 7-Imp here.
As I type this, it’s the evening of the 2015 Carle Honors, and editor Neal Porter is being celebrated as an Honoree in the category of Mentor. You can read about it here. As you can also see at that link, Neal is the publisher of his own imprint at Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan), and he’s being doing that for the last 14 years. And as you’ll read below in our chat, he’s been working in the field of children’s literature for much longer. I ask him about how he started out, and then we talk a bit about children’s literature today. Plus some.
I appreciate him finding the space in his busy schedule to do this, because as a blogger/freelance writer who sees lots of picture books on any given day, I always get excited when it’s a Neal Porter book—on account of his really good taste.
Let’s get to it.
Conversation started 20 July 2015, 8:36 p.m.
JULES: Hi, Neal! Thanks for taking the time to do this.
In thinking about what to ask you first, I realized I don’t know your history. Early history, that is. So, how’d you get into publishing?
NEAL: In the Amtrak quiet car. Excellent place to begin.
I was a theatre person before I was a publishing person. I grew up in Philadelphia when Broadway shows still tried out there en route to New York. My parents took me when I was quite young, and I spent most Saturdays in middle and high school sitting in the back row of the Forrest Theater (price $1.90), watching a lot of terrible shows and a few good ones. I decided I wanted to be a drama critic, because I couldn’t imagine a better job than getting paid to go to the theater. I majored in dramatic literature and theatre history at NYU, but when I graduated I realized that the NY Times wasn’t going to call and offer me a job as their first-string critic. I wanted to stay in New York and was broke, and a friend of a friend hired me to be his assistant in the college textbook department of St. Martin’s Press. It took me a few days to realize I hated textbook publishing and about six months to get out—first to an educational marketing job at Avon paperbacks and then to a series of library marketing positions at Farrar, Straus and Atheneum. My boss at St. Martins went on to write songs for Barry Manilow.
JULES: Well, huh. I had no idea you were a theatre person first. I once was too. I was THIS close to going to graduate school for Theatre History or Dramaturgy. I had been accepted at The University of Pittsburgh and was even up there, looking for a place to live. At the last minute, I changed my mind and thought I’d eventually just return to it later. But then I ended up doing altogether different things. Just like you.
I just finished teaching a grad course on picture books, and we talked a lot in the beginning of the course about how picture books are similar to theatre. Uri Shulevitz writes: “By telling a story visually, instead of through verbal description, a picture book becomes a dramatic experience: immediate, vivid, moving. A picture book is closer to theater and film, silent films in particular, than to other kinds of books. It is a unique type of book.”
I want to get back to your publishing story in a moment, but do you ever think of this as you’re working with picture books—the theatre/film and picture book connection, that is? I find that I think about this connection a lot, though maybe it’s merely because I just taught that course and it came up often.
(p.s. As a child, I was in love with Barry Manilow. I once belonged to the Barry Manilow International Fan Club—the BMIFC, if you’re in the know—and when I was 11 years old, he gave me a finger gun wink while singing “Oh Julie” in concert.)
NEAL: Absolutely. I’ve often thought of the physical book as a proscenium stage, with the action not only unfolding across the stage but also propelled by page turns. And for me a good picture book contains all six Aristotelian elements—plot, character, theme, language, rhythm and spectacle, as well as exposition, rising action, conflict and climax, and denouement. And it’s true whether you’re talking about Stone Soup, Wild Things, The Lion and the Mouse, or even one of Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s “concept” books. Even for ages two to six, Aristotle rules!
I also love the movies and often find myself referencing them. When we were working on Action Jackson, I was trying to describe the “crane shot” that ends the book—with Pollock preparing his next canvas—to Robert Andrew Parker, who was illustrating. I got up on a very high, very wobbly chair that promptly fell over, leaving me with a very sore butt but with my principles intact. In Giant Squid, a new picture book coming next Fall with text by Candy Fleming and art by Eric Rohmann, the action starts on page one but the title spread doesn’t appear until 6-7—in a kind of sweeping cinematic gesture that reminds me of old Cinemascope movies. It’s an idea we borrowed from Who Came Down That Road?, edited by Dick Jackson, also a theatre and film buff.
Incidentally, that boss who left publishing for Manilow ended up on Broadway, while I ended up in publishing, and my office is in the same building (the Flatiron) where I started, 38 years ago. By the way, what are your favorite shows?
JULES: Oh, I’m so far away from Broadway, Neal. I live near Nashville. My family and I visited NYC in March of this year, and I saw my first Broadway show. No, really.
I will say this, though: The career I ended up doing instead of theatre (before I ended up doing children’s lit) was sign language interpreting. And theatrical interpreting was my very favorite setting. Ah, to get paid to watch a show as often as you could! And the work of an interpreter is very similar in many ways to the work of a dramaturgist, but I won’t go on about it. All that’s to say: I used to interpret in the theatre a lot, and … let’s see … probably my favorite script I ever worked on was a show called Terra Nova, by Ted Tally, all about Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole. I also love early turn-of-the-(last)-century American playwrights. What really fired me up and made me want to study theatre history was the theatre of ancient Greece. When it comes to musicals, I suppose I’m a Threepenny Opera kind of gal. I like the darker stuff.
What are your favorite shows?
Also, back to your history: How’d you get from library marketing to editing?
NEAL: Good timing. Saturday morning and I’m on my third cup of coffee.
I was a Threepenny Opera kind of guy—played the old off-Broadway recording with Lotte Lenya incessantly when I was a kid (told you I was a strange kid) but have never seen a first-rate production.
Favorite shows? Favorite production ever has to be the original Broadway production of Follies, which I saw during its first week when I was in high school. Totally blew me away. In fact, all of Sondheim. I tell people that I have a pathological aversion to rhyming texts. It’s not that I can’t abide rhyme; it’s just that it’s so difficult to have it scan perfectly without bending the narrative out of shape. Sondheim’s lyrics tell stories, but the rhyme and rhythm are immaculate. See “Someone in a Tree” from Pacific Overtures, which tells the same story from multiple points of view.
On the straight play side, I have a soft spot for Tennessee Williams, particularly Streetcar. And Michael Frayn’s Noises Off, ‘cause it’s about the theatah, and it’s screamingly funny.
Okay, back to publishing. I had an unorthodox editorial education, working in marketing alongside editors I respected and learned so much from, like Michael DiCapua, Sandra Jordan, Jean Karl, and Margaret McElderry—and later on, as a publisher, with Dick Jackson and Melanie Kroupa. In about 1985, Atheneum was sold to the old Macmillan Publishing Company, and I was offered the opportunity to run the children’s paperback program, combining the old Atheneum Aladdin list (Susan Cooper, E. L. Konigsberg, Judy Viorst, et al) with Macmillan’s Collier list (Narnia, Pat Hutchins, Caddie Woodlawn). That was my entrée into editorial, although in a limited way. I also had a mandate to publish books meant for the retail (as opposed to library) market, which got me to the Bologna and Frankfurt book fairs, and introduced me to the international children’s book scene. A few years later, I moved to London to work for Sebastian Walker at Walker Books (the parent company of Candlewick), where I got to meet people like Helen Oxenbury and John Burningham and Martin Handford of Where’s Waldo fame, just as the late ‘80s boom in picture books was taking off. I returned to the States—and Macmillan—in 1989, this time as publisher of the main Macmillan hardcover imprint, and that’s when I began editing in earnest, initially regarded with suspicion by the other editors as some goon from marketing. And then to Orchard and Dorling Kindersley.
Favorite books from that era—two alphabet books (I’m obsessed with letters and letterforms), Robert Sabuda’s The Christmas Alphabet and David Pelletier’s The Graphic Alphabet, as well as Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan’s books on Chuck Close and Frank Gehry. But it wasn’t until we started Roaring Brook in the early 2000’s, that I think I hit my stride as an editor.
JULES: Did you work with John Burningham, by chance (speaking of Oxenbury)? I’m such a fan of the work of those two. Burningham is one of my favorite illustrators.
I have so many questions about your editing work. I guess my first question about the work of an editor—when it comes to picture books, in particular—is: How do you feel you can best get out of your authors and/or illustrators what you want? Phil and Erin have visited the blog before and talked about how you work so closely together that even your silence tells them a lot. (Or maybe I heard them say that once at a speaking event. Who knows.) I also interviewed Hadley Hooper last year (BECAUSE THE IRIDESCENCE OF BIRDS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PICTURE BOOKS ON THE PLANET, AND I AM YELLING THIS IN ENTHUSIASM), and she told a story about figuring out that she needed to change direction with her art for that book, based on your silence and the art director’s silence.
So, is silence the way to go? Do you have an all-knowing look you give authors, or do you just find that you have simpatico relationships with many of them? Are simpatico relationships the goal? Am I making sense?
NEAL: I can’t say that I had a strong editorial relationship with John—or Helen, for that matter—though we did become friends. Much of my work at Walker involved selling co-editions of the books we were publishing in the UK to American publishers (as I said, this was before Candlewick was established). I did have the pleasure of selling We’re Going on a Bear Hunt to Margaret McElderry. And in America I published Helen’s large format multi-racial board books; the Tom and Pippo books; and later on at DK, John’s very droll adult book about France. It had the best author photo ever on the flap—John leaning against a doorway, bottle of red in hand, looking like he was about to keel over. I adore both of them and their work, though I’m sad that John’s books don’t have the profile over here that they do in the UK. The cognoscenti know Mr. Gumpy’s Outing and a few others, but the entire body of work is brilliant. Aldo is a personal favorite. I’m fascinated by why some books travel and some don’t . . . but that’s a topic for another discussion.
As to your second question you are making perfect sense, although I had no idea my silence counted for so much with Phil and Erin and Hadley. Maybe that’s the key to success as an editor—just keep your mouth shut and let the creators figure it out. Laura Seeger says the phrase I use most often is “It needs something . . .” Then she goes about figuring out what that something is. (Have you seen Steve Sheinkin’s cartoon about Laura and me? Hilarious. Who knew the author of Bomb and Most Dangerous was also the Daumier of children’s books.) The truth is I have no set way of working; that depends on the author and/or artist and the project at hand. My job is to figure out what’s needed in order to produce the best possible book—and then to figure out how to supply it. There’s often a bit of role playing involved. I’ve been a coach, a father, a teacher, a disciplinarian, and more often than I’d like to admit, a therapist, but the role I’m most comfortable playing is sounding board.
When I’m working with Phil and Erin, we talk through the text, then they go off and work, and I normally see very little until the finished art appears, along with Phil’s design. It’s a relationship that depends very much on trust. With Lenny and Lucy, the book flowed pretty effortlessly until we got to the jacket. I think it’s fair to say that the book begins in a dark place, literally and figuratively, and only gradually emerges into sunlight. I wanted the jacket to reflect that darkness, without being off-putting to the reader. It was also complicated by the fact that, though the book is called Lenny and Lucy, its protagonists are Peter and his dog, Harold. The jacket went through many versions until we settled on an image taken from the book’s interior, one that conveys the darkness but, I think, in an aesthetically pleasing way.
Antoinette Portis and Steve Savage are similar in that the dummy I first encounter is usually pretty close to where we end up. We spend a lot of time fiddling and fussing and trying out different approaches and art styles and, yes, the book evolves to some extent over time, but often we find ourselves very close to our starting point. Of course, after reading your terrific interview with Antoinette in Seven Impossible Things I now realize that a book like Wait went through many, many revisions before it first crossed my desk.
A cardinal rule of picture book-editing is to keep your author and artist as far away from each other as possible, but sometimes the work is intensely collaborative; that was the case with Jan Greenberg, Sandra Jordan, and Brian Floca on Ballet for Martha and Phil and Matt Cordell on Special Delivery. With Martha, the four of us met several times in my apartment as the book progressed, but our first “meeting” was at and after a performance of Appalachian Spring shortly after Brian signed on. It was great to have dinner afterwards and begin to discuss how the performance might influence our book. In time, the book evolved from 32 to 40 to 48 pages, and Brian’s got the dummies to prove it!
With Laura, the work is more organic. We’re lucky to live relatively close to each other, so we can have frequent meetings—or play dates. This usually involves rifling through the pages of her journal and hitting on an idea that we think might work. We play a lot of “What If?”—also the title of one of her books. Then we noodle around with the idea, bending it this way and that. Sometimes everything flows effortlessly; sometimes the idea is abandoned and then returned to months or even years later. That was the case with Green and her newest book, I Used to Be Afraid.
Simpatico relationships are not the goal, but their importance cannot be overemphasized. Life is tough enough without having to work with disagreeable people by choice, no matter how talented they may be. Thanks, by the way, for the shout out for The Iridescence of Birds. It’s one of my absolute favorites too; not only because it’s a book I’m intensely proud of, but also because it was such a pleasure to work on, from start to finish. Patty MacLachlan is one of the smartest and funniest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet, and working with Hadley was bliss.
One of the things I most enjoy about my job is finding the right artist to illustrate a given text. With Hadley, I played a hunch that really paid off. She’d done one picture book at the time, Here Come the Girl Scouts, but what drew me to her work were the images of her fine art that I found on her website. One or two just shouted “Matisse” to me—not that they were slavish copies of his work but because they shared the same spontaneity and love of color. Another great thing about my job is that when you find an artist you love, you can work with them again and again. Hadley’s just illustrated a wonderful text by Tony Johnston about a little girl, a timid old man, and a dog, called A Small Thing . . . but Big that will be coming out next Fall, and after that she’ll be working on a Liz Garton Scanlon text, Another Way to Climb a Tree, scheduled for Spring ’17.
Speaking of simpatico relationships, this seems like an excellent opportunity to mention the importance of design in the process and to say how lucky I am to have worked with an exceptionally talented designer, Jennifer Browne, for the last 20 years. In fact, we’ve worked together for so long that we’re like an old married couple, either speaking in shorthand or finishing each other’s sentences. Jennifer is my sounding board. I usually involve her even before I’ve acquired a book, and I value her intelligence, her experience as a mom, and her extraordinary taste and judgment. She’s also enormously supportive of artists, being one herself, and they appreciate her tact and warmth as well as her problem-solving skills.
JULES: Oh, Burningham is brilliant. I could go on and on about that. I was so happy when Candlewick published this:
Let me ask you this, though I hope it doesn’t make you roll your eyes: If you could change just one publishing trend today, what would it be? If, like me, you’re allergic to the word trend, then let me ask this way: What’s a frustration about publishing today you’d like to change?
And, to be fair, what do you love the most about editing and/or publishing today? Do you believe we’re living in a “Golden Age” of picture books, as some people say?
NEAL: Saw the Burningham book online. I long to possess it. Thanks for reminding me. And I’m anxious to read Leonard Marcus’s book on Helen when it comes out.
As for your potentially eye roll-inducing question, yes, the word “trend” does tend make me break out in hives. Mostly because I think it’s largely irrelevant as it applies to picture books. Given their exceptionally long lead time—often two to three years or longer, given the artist’s schedule and the need to have sales materials ever earlier—by the time the book comes out, the trend is history. Nevertheless, one does discern patterns. I’m seeing an awful lot of “meta” and interactive books in my submission pile these days—This Book Ate my Turnip, There are Tarantulas on Page 22 of this Book, etc. It’s an interesting phenomenon in that they emphasize the “bookishness” of the book at a time when so much of literate discourse has gone digital. But like most trends, they start when a really good book is published that breaks genuinely new ground—It’s a Book and Press Here, published six months apart, are examples that come to mind—and then everyone rushes to mimic its success. That’s frustrating.
But it’s only a part of a larger frustration—the need to serve “the market” at all costs. When I got into the business, children’s books were kind of a quiet backwater. Editors were largely left to their own devices, as the sales were largely institutional (with exceptions like Golden Books, Stratemeyer, and Seuss) and, as such, profitable—very few returns, no elaborate and expensive retail promotions, author tours, co-op allowances, etc. We didn’t get a lot of respect from our colleagues in adult publishing, but we existed in a relatively happy state of benign neglect—with a lot of latitude to publish good books as we saw fit. Ursula Nordstrom didn’t tell Krauss and Sendak that the trim size for A Hole is to Dig needed to be larger to “pop” more on the shelves. Format was determined by content. Jean Karl didn’t have to take Judith Viorst’s Alexander . . . to a jacket meeting. The jacket was the jacket. Once children’s books began to be perceived as a profit center, the earth shifted and the industry became much more similar to the adult model—high advances, high marketing expenses, and potentially high returns. I’m not saying that’s bad. We’re selling a hell of a lot more books than we used to, and authors and artists are more fairly compensated for their work. It’s just different.
What do I love most about editing today? The fact that I’m lucky enough to be given the kind of latitude to publish the books that I mentioned above and to have my efforts supported by a smart and effective marketing and publicity team. I do go to acquisition meetings and jacket meetings and participate in marketing launch meetings, et al. But I’m also a realist and know that, with the exception of Bad Kitty, many of my books are not going to be sitting in a planogram at Target. Yet it’s thrilling to know that a quiet, thoughtful, beautifully-crafted book like A Sick Day for Amos McGee can not only find an audience but can go on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies—not only to libraries and through trade bookstores, but through the efforts of a mass merchandiser, like Kohl’s.
As to whether we’re living in a Golden Age, I think you don’t really know that until you’ve passed through it. I suspect that the “golden age” of Broadway musicals in the ‘40s and ‘50s (to use a theatre analogy) was not perceived as such by Rodgers and Hammerstein and others who worked in that era. They were just doing their jobs and trying to make the best (and most successful) shows possible. I do think there’s a lot of attention being paid to the craft of picture book-making, as evidenced by the work of people like the Steads, as well as Mac Barnett, Antoinette Portis, Jon Klassen, Christian Robinson, and other relatively young folk—as well as more mature authors and artists, like Jerry Pinkney, Eve Bunting, and Eric Carle.
JULES: I’m glad you said that about the “Golden Age.” I wrote in one of my Kirkus columns recently that, for me, the jury is still out on whether or not it’s a “Golden Age of Picture Books” right now. That’s largely (but not entirely) because, as you said, how can we tell when we’re still in it?
As someone who writes about picture books, I’d add that, not only do you see people mimicking the books that broke new ground (as you noted), but I also sometimes see new illustrators copying the style of other illustrators. Nothing turns me away from a picture book quicker than that. I tossed one across the room in frustration a couple weeks ago. (No humans or pets were injured by flying books in the process.)
I’ve been following the We Need Diverse Books campaign closely. I’d love to hear from you, an editor: How do you respond to the need for books from authors and illustrators of color, as well as the need for more books with diverse characters?
NEAL: To address your “copying” question first, the quote that comes to mind has been attributed to Picasso and Steve Jobs, among others: “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” To see artwork that is clearly imitative of others’ work is depressing and infuriating. And with so many people working digitally now, it’s easily accomplished. But truly great artists have always “stolen” from work that has come before them and made it their own. Mostly any great picture book being published today, any book that treats children with respect and acknowledges that they are capable of grasping far more than adults give them credit for, has a little Sendak in its DNA.
I’ve been wrestling with your question about diversity, and it’s hard to get my head around it, because I only feel qualified to speak about my own tastes and preferences, not the industry at large. And because the word “diversity” is so loaded and encompasses so much—not only books by people of color with or without diverse characters but also issues like sexual preference, gender, disability, along with diversity in the industry, etc. My sole criterion in determining what I publish is “Do I HAVE to publish this book?” And if that applies to a book like Shane Evans’s Underground or Yuyi Morales’s Niño [pictured above] or Viva Frida, then that’s great.
Of course, on an almost unconscious level I’m aware of the need for books representing our diverse society, and I expect that plays into my decision. But it’s only part of that decision. It goes without saying that when groups of children are shown in picture books, they need to reflect the diversity of their readership. And then you have examples like Boats for Papa, which I bought without realizing the author/artist was a person of color—and is about two BEAVERS.
Or the forthcoming In Plain Sight, written by a white author (Richard Jackson) about the relationship between a (disabled) grandfather and his granddaughter, which when illustrated by Jerry Pinkney becomes a book about an African American family.
At Bologna this year I saw a number of European picture books that dealt with “hot button” subjects like same sex parents, autistic children or those on the Asperger’s spectrum, etc. And the publishers were justly proud of that. But the characters as depicted in those books were almost exclusively Caucasian, despite the fact that countries like Sweden, France, and Italy have increasingly diverse populations. What’s up with that?
JULES: Thanks for making that distinction about copying vs. imitating. It’s true. My late brother was such a talented (amateur) artist, and you can look back at his high school work and clearly see his Wyeth stage and Dali stage and even Charles Schulz stage. Yes, that’s how we learn. But copying yet not making it your own—that’s the difference.
I want to ask you two more things, though I think we could go on forever. Perhaps I’ll ask you both questions at the same time, and then we can wrap this up.
You mentioned Bologna. Do you attend annually? I imagine that seeing all that international art really gets an editor’s juices flowing. (I juried there in Bologna for the Bologna Ragazzi Award back in 2012—it was dreamy to see picture books from all over the world—yet I’ve never actually been to the week-long festival itself. I gotta do that one year.)
Secondly, you’ve mentioned some upcoming picture book titles. Anything else on the horizon you’re really excited about?
NEAL: I’ve gone to Bologna more years than not, since 1985. That’s thirty years, long enough to have consumed a literal mountain of pasta.
Anyone who has an attended as an editor or a rights person knows that it’s a hell of a lot of work—a meeting with a different publisher every half hour, from 9 AM to 6 PM, for three and a half days on average, roughly 50 appointments during the course of the fair, if you don’t take time out for lunch. It’s bone-crushing and yet oddly exhilarating, because as you say, you get to see books (and meet people) from all over the world, share information about our respective markets, and every so often find a book that you can’t live without. The last time that happened for me was with Marion Bataille’s ABC3D. That was in 2007—eight years ago.
I’m still fascinated by books from abroad and hope to publish more in the future, but a lot of the foreign colleagues with whom I grew up in the business have retired. They were the people who would stop me in the aisle and say, “Have you seen that amazing book called Jellybeans on the Lemniscaat stand? We’ve just bought French rights. Go check it out.” And I would, and it would be amazing. And I would end up publishing it in the U.S. And it would sell 3,500 copies, but that was okay—because it was a book that needed to be published in the U.S. So, Bologna’s a little less fun for me, and I’m perfectly content to stay put and concentrate on books that I originate. There’s a lot more to say on the international market and why some books travel but others don’t—a subject of endless fascination for me, but as you say, you’re looking to wrap this up.
Whenever anyone asks me what books I’m excited about, my mind instantly goes blank, because I’m generally working on three lists at once—books that are in their earliest stages, books that are in the midst of production, and books that are more or less complete but haven’t yet appeared in final form. The first book that comes to mind falls into that latter category—Phil Stead’s Ideas Are All Around, coming in Winter 2016.
It’s a book unlike anything he’s done before, or indeed unlike anything I’ve ever published. He takes the reader on a walk around his neighborhood, with his and Erin’s dog Wednesday in tow, as he looks for ideas to write about. The art is true mixed media, including quite a number of Polaroid photos taken along the way, and at the end there’s a very modest epiphany, the germ of an idea that we’ll see fully executed in a book that we’ll publish next fall called Samson in the Snow.
Also on the same list is Julie Fogliano’s first poetry collection, When Green Becomes Tomatoes, with enchanting art by Julie Morstad, whom you’ve written about. Julie F’s texts for And Then it’s Spring . . . and If You Want to See a Whale seem effortless and yet inevitable, and I think that’s also true of the poems in this book, each with a date attached, which take the reader through all four seasons.
Antoinette Portis’s new book for spring, Best Frints in the Whole Universe, makes me giggle every time I think about it. You’ve already shown images from it, so I’ll just say that it’s written in an invented language (there is a glossary!), one that I hope kids will pick up and make their own.
Adam Rex’s School’s First Day of School, illustrated by Christian Robinson, makes me grin from ear to ear. It’s the first day of school from the school’s perspective (one that’s just been built and is opening its doors for the first time), and it turns out that school is just as nervous and uncertain as the kids who will soon be arriving. Never have I felt such empathy for an edifice.
I’m excited about Steve Savage’s next vehicle book after Supertruck, The Mixed-Up Truck (about a cement mixer who can’t seem to catch a break). And a little further down the pike—in Fall 2017—we’ll have Laura Seeger’s Blue, her companion book to Green.
JULES: Well, it’s been fun talking with you, Neal. Selfishly, I’m glad you aren’t a drama critic after all, because then we in children’s literature wouldn’t get to see the fruits of your work.
Thanks for taking the time to chat!
Conversation ended 23 September 2015, 9:25 a.m.
AND NOW, A SPECIAL MOMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE STEADS…