professornana (professornana) wrote,


Capaciousness is in the hearts and minds of everyone who attended the Newbery Caldecott Banquet last night. The literal meaning is the ability to contain or hold a great deal; large in capacity. Kate DiCamillo used the word several times in the story she wove as her acceptance speech. She referred to one of her favorite short stories which ends with a reference to the capacious hands of God. She recalled this story when her mother fell one night. A man offered to help. Shedding his gloves, he lifted Kate's mothers and took her indoors. Kate recalls being surprised at the size of the gloves, certainly made for capacious hands. (Note: at this point many of us were weeping)

Kate went on to talk about how books can be capacious. Writing can be capacious. Reading can open us up and make us more capacious. How important that word, that concept is. Because here are the synonyms of capaciousness: cavernous, voluminous; broad, wide; big, biggish, bulky, considerable, generous, goodly, grand, great, handsome, hefty, hulking, large, largish, outsize (also outsized), overscale (or overscaled), oversize (or oversized), sizable (or sizeable), substantial, tidy; Brobdingnagian, Bunyanesque, colossal, elephantine, enormous, gargantuan, gigantic, herculean, heroic (also heroical), Himalayan, huge, humongous (also humungous), immense, jumbo, king-size (or king-sized), leviathan, mammoth, massive, monolithic, monstrous, monumental, mountainous, pharaonic, prodigious, staggering, stupendous, super, titanic, tremendous; expansive, extended, extensive, vast; boundless, limitless, unbounded. And the opposite? Limited, shriveled, bounded, narrow, constricted.

I loved this idea of how the world is opened up through book. The evening ended with video clips of the winners talking about their own influences. Vince Vawter and Kate DiCamillo both mentioned Christopher Paul Curtis' THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM, 1963 (and how lovely that Chris was there to hear that in person). Which books expanded your own world? How did your capaciousness develop? Questions to ponder. And what better place to ponder than here with fellow book connoisseurs?
Tags: benefits of reading, books, speeches

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