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Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air We Share
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Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air We Share

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A simple story of our planet's natural resources with jewel-like paintings by Caldecott Honor author Molly Bang. Through the example of a shared village green and the growing needs of the townspeople who share it, Molly Bang presents the challenge of handling our planet's natural resources. Full color picture book.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Blue Sky Press
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Sarah Holland
Personal Reaction: I really love the connection the author makes between the "common ground" in the village and the environment. It introduces a moral aspect to a scientific/environmental issue prevalent today's world, which is important to achieve the author's overall purpose of conservation.

-read aloud for enrichment: This book could be used for an introduction to understanding the "common ground" of humanity and how we are all more similar than different even with regard to gender, ra
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book is about over-using our natural resources without planning for the future. I like the message, but I'm not sure that kids of picture-book age would get it given the way she words it here. I suppose it could be used in a classroom accompanied by discussion. I would be interested to hear from any teachers who have read or used it. Not having children myself, it's kind of hard for me to judge what kids are apt to comprehend.
A simple story, but one that carries a huge impact. When we all use our resources to our own short-term advantage without realizing what it will do to the whole, there is the distinct possibility of depleting those resources beyond repair. A wonderful book to teach the kids about ecology and nature and give them some food for thought about the preciousness and uniqueness of our planet.

Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air We Share, with its boldly drawn, simple illustrations drives an import
This is an informational book about the Earth's natural resources. It starts out with a story about a village that had a common ground. The common ground was for everyone's sheep to graze on. Well all of the grass got used up and people started to move other places. It talks about how the Earth is our common ground and we share it's natural resources, like water, oil, air, minerals, etc. The book talks about how if we aren't careful we will use them all up, but unlike the people in the story we ...more
Rachel White
Common Ground is an informational book about the Earth's natural resources. The story begins with an insightful tale of a little village that had a common ground for everyone in the village to let their sheep graze throughout the day. However, as time went on, people began hogging all the common ground for their whole herd of sheep, therefore using up all the grazing grass. People began moving elsewhere to have their own grass. The story goes on to talk about how the whole world is our common gr ...more
Definitely very preachy; I mean, it intends to be! I won't be reading this one to the preschoolers because I think by the end, it goes beyond them, and it also could be frightening. No reason to frighten preschoolers when there's so little they could do. But I do think the analogy of the village would work for them, and help them to understand the idea of common ground. I remember learning about this in economics and deciding that it made utter and complete sense that the government would have t ...more
My boy really liked this story, even though he's still a little young to understand the depth of it he got the simple village sorry at the beginning. I could see using this to teach basic children's economics of public goods and the need to cooperate. And history of good and bad examples of this.
This is an excellent opening to units about the earth's resources and how we use them. Its simplistic approach to explaining how our common resources can be endangered by too much use, will spark discussion. We start with the example of a field of grass that villagers share for sheep grazing. But some villagers have many sheep who eat too much grass, while some have none and are not able to enjoy the greenery after it's been over-grazed. We extend the concept to our seas, forests, and other natu ...more
Destiny Dawn Long
Bang begins the book with a parable about a village common where the villagers graze sheep and eventually over-graze the land. From there, she launches into a look at our current world, where we are so focused on benefiting from natural resources that we fail to consider the future. Accompanied by colorful illustrations, this book looks to engage children in larger social questions. This book is excellent for any parent or teacher who is looking to teach children about environmental justice and ...more
Alexandra Chauran
This book teaches the tragedy of the commons in a brief but heavy-handed way. I found it a real downer, but my three year old really liked it and wanted to read it again and again.
A pointedly written book for children on community and social justice. It is about the old village model with the town square where citizens shared space to graze their animals. But when greed becomes a factor, the town square (or common ground), is lost. Its a strong message and extremely important in today's society where we are forgetting about common ground.
Great children's book about an individual's daily impact on the world. Illustrations appear simple at first, but one can see great detail upon second glance. Great message about working together to protect our natural resources. Overall, I really liked it; but the final message can be a bit scary for young children.
Eric Summers
A shallow lecture about mass consumption and the dangers it brings. Bland illustrations do nothing to make this interesting.

Dont get me wrong, I am a bleeding heart liberal through and through but I will still call out books that are worthless even if they espouse liberal causes.
Nice illustrations and a good introduction to the concept of using and conserving natural resources. However, it's extremely direct/strong in its message, almost a bit textbook or even preachy.
Vincent Eisman
Great book for classroom discussions about common ground of all sorts- from the classroom, to the community, to the world.
Amy Rhilinger
loved the perspective of the illustrations and loved the concept of teaching kids how the earth is shared.
Loved this book. It is a great introduction to children about how to manage and conserve resources.
This is a good critical thinking/discussion picture book for the elementary grades. Perfect for Earth Day!
Beautiful book. Definite slant. Encourages us to treat the earth well for future generations.
It told you not to waste things.
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