- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Blue Sky Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0590100564
- ISBN-13: 978-0590100564
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air We Share Hardcover – October 1, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-7. Bang's small picture book is both simple and ambitious as it presents first a parable and then a string of analogies to raise awareness and provoke thought about the consequences of overusing natural resources. The opening story tells how the green common of a long-ago village quickly becomes overcrowded when too many sheep are sent to graze. Some people decide to stay and work out a plan, but others leave for greener pastures. Bang's paintings employ strong patterns and shades of color, clustering small, crudely sketched figures in naive perspective as the author explains how people today resemble the villagers in using up what they have. "Now our commons are our parks, reserves, and natural resources, and the waters and air of the whole world." She depicts fishermen catching as many fish as possible; lumber companies cutting trees; other companies and individuals using oil and gas and coal; and notes that we all "pump as much of our common water as we can." In each instance there is a short-term benefit and a long-term problem. It's a somber lesson: "One by one, we are destroying the natural resources that sustain our lives." Some scenes suffer from crammed design elements, but others readily command attention. The concluding pronouncement that "now we don't have anyplace else to go" should effectively spark discussion, individual research, and classroom projects.?Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Conservation and responsibility for our shared natural resources is the heart of an allegory that inspires respect for the environment, described tidily in simple terms. Once upon a time, villagers could bring sheep to a commons, ``common ground'' to everyone in the village. The eventual outcome--too many sheep and not enough grass--provides the historical example that is invoked repeatedly to explain problems and issues arising from present-day overuse of life-sustaining resources and global short-sightedness. Bang (Goose, 1996, etc.) outlines the depletion of the seas, forests, fossil fuels, and water in a series of pithy but easily comprehensible vignettes. Each tenet of basic ecology presented spins on the same axis--the concept of one earth, with limitations as to its renewability; then Bang drives home the ``share the planet'' precept in a dramatic denouement. Happy greens (grass) and sprightly blues (water, sky) give way to gray rooftops and smokestacks throughout, but it is the lone planet swirling against a canvas of black that is sure to stop readers in their tracks. It's a timely, provocative message, housed in a small, weighty book. (Picture book. 7-10) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Molly Bang is an author known to me through her books for children; I used them in my classroom for many years. Now I am retired and the Pres. of a new land trust that just happens to be named Common Ground. I bought several copies of this book as a gift to my board members and we gave one away as a door prize at a recent annual meeting.