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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

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  83 Ratings  ·  24 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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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.
Rachel White
Dec 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Sarah Holland
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 13, 2017 added it
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Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, picture-books
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
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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.
Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: age-6, nature
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.
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.
Alexandra Chauran
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
It told you not to waste things.
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture_book, earth
This is a good critical thinking/discussion picture book for the elementary grades. Perfect for Earth Day!
Amy Rhilinger
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
loved the perspective of the illustrations and loved the concept of teaching kids how the earth is shared.
Vincent Eisman
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
Great book for classroom discussions about common ground of all sorts- from the classroom, to the community, to the world.
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.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It is a great introduction to children about how to manage and conserve resources.
Miss Kelly
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book about "going green". Talks to people of all ages about taking care of Mother Earth...Wonderfully illustrated as well.
Oct 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
Beautiful book. Definite slant. Encourages us to treat the earth well for future generations.
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Environmental protection and sharing requests
Shelves: sharing, environment
Simple explanation of the importance of environmental protection and the fallacy of short term profits. Just in time for Earth Day displays.
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Jan 26, 2010
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May 25, 2008
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Aug 20, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jul 13, 2017
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Sep 20, 2009
Kadijah Harewood
Molly Bang's Common ground is a great story to use when discussing the resources that the plant has and the ways that we affect it. It is written in such a way that children will easily understand the questions she poses in respect to the issues that are created when we over use the limited things we have for short term gratification. Resourcing in itself is the issue that is made clear but there isn't a plainly stated solution. This is because Bang tasks the reader with coming up with a soluti ...more
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