What we love…

Ease of use, solidly built app, fun storyline that prompts discussion and creativity.

What we’d love to see…

More! Having the opportunity to explore more stories in this manner could replace game night!


Hamaguchi presents a well-made, fun app that leaves us wanting more.

Our Rating

You’re the Storyteller: The Surprise (Home Edition) HDHamaguchi Apps, founded by speech-language pathologist and author, Patti Hamaguchi, creates apps for speech, language and auditory development.  You’re the StoryTeller: The Surprise, is a brilliantly simple and engaging way to encourage story telling. There is an animated story broken into short sequences with no text or narration. It’s your job to tell the story. Children are encouraged to pay close attention to actions and reasoning so they can share their thoughts. Each sequence has “challenge” words to incorporate in the telling as well as questions to prompt critical thinking. Your child can tell their story by voice narration, text or both. Upon completion, you can enjoy the story your child has created or tell it a new way and record again. Only one story can be saved at a time in the home edition, but up to thirty versions can be saved in the Pro edition.

iPad Screenshot 1

There was a lot of giggling as my children and I reviewed this app. Not a minute of time felt like work, but every minute was filled with thoughtful consideration for how to incorporate challenge words, create correct sentence structure, and understand why we made certain inferences about character actions. Without giving anything away, there was one scene that my son got so giggly over that we had to go back several times to re-narrate or just plain watch.

iPad Screenshot 2

Here is where I am supposed to tell you what I would like to see worked on. The app as it stands, is really wonderful and rivals a family game night. What I would very much like to see, are more versions available in the App Store. When we were finished with this review I was ready to buy more. I hope Hamaguchi has plans to make that a reality!


Overall I am really impressed with this app. There was a lot of potential for mishap in the development with either poor base storyline, lagging video or poor options, but Hamaguchi did a superb job.  My kids and I enjoyed this app and it would be a pleasure to recommend it to others.


Brenda Shetland is a real-life mother and lover of apps, but her name has been changed to protect the innocent, or at least her email inbox. She is looking forward to reviewing bad apps so she can tell it like it is, but was given a great app to start.

The Surprise (Home)
The Surprise (Home)
by Hamaguchi Apps for Speech, Language & Auditory Development

Category: Education, Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74
Size: 66.86 MB


Screenshots for iPad
(Click to enlarge)

Brenda Shetland is the mother of three kids and a lover of educational apps and not-so-educational apps (she can usually find a good use for all of them!) She likes reading, laughing and not cleaning her house. Brenda has high standards, but a good heart and loves seeing apps improve because of good critiques. Although she writes under a pseudonym, everything else about her is real and she is very happy to help the amazing iMums!

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