'There was an old lady who' is a great beginning for readers of all ages! The classroom age range is likely 5-8 which means any class kindergarten through third grade would enjoy this book.
I would be most likely to use this book at the beginning of the year when we talk about our summer vacations. There is sure to be mention of the beach and this would fit right in. I would use it to teach cause and effect, and as a writing prompt for older students. What is the outcome of swallowing all those things?? A sandcastle? Well imagine if a farmer swallowed..... Students could certainly be creative in making their own stories to mimic this one and enjoy it! This could even be an assessment of writing abilities and styles to kick off the school year.
grade level equivalent: 2.2
Four out of the five short stories were fun to read on a random Sunday afternoon in summer, so I went with four stars (one star for each good story in the set). For cost savings, I would pick this set up rather than the individual stories.
#1 Ex on the Beach
Skip this story and start the set at story #2.This is a bad story about two dumb MCs reuniting a year after the wedding was called off. You could have drowned in the shallowness both MCs displayed. Maturity level all around was at negative 5 and dropping. The meddling families didn't help.
#2 She's Hot Now
This story hit close to home. I had the same body issues as the female MC did when I lost a lot of weight to get into the military. It is hard to see yourself as hot and attractive when for so long you were the fat friend. This story was done with sensitivity, humor, and grace. There is a nice turn of the tables on the bitchy frenemy at the end by both MCs and another (true) friend. Birds of a feather don't always flock together.
#3 Girls Just Wanna Have Finn
This was a good solid story as story #2. Male MC feeling the effects of his high school reputation.
#4 Washed Up
Now we are getting into cheesy territory, but still good storytelling. Give Grandma her due, she was right about the male MC being more than just good looks.
#5 Hot for Summer
Still cheesy, still fun. Great way to end the set.