iPad Screenshot 2

What we love…

whimsical story that helps bring positive meaning to the “un” with beautiful illustrations

What we’d love to see…

word highlighting as the story is read, better instructions on how to “use” the app when first opened, for example you need to touch the first word on the page in order to hear the narration


Whimsical tale of the “un” stealer who takes away bad feelings and brings good ones in with the simple removal of two letters before many words.

Our Rating

Guest review by Carissa of Digital Storytime
The UnStealer, by Joshua and Donna Wilson, is a new book app from developer the happy dandelion, with an enhanced tale about semantics that is never un-satisfying. The ‘unstealer’ is a bandit who steals the prefix ‘un’ from the front of many otherwise un-happy utterances. He is pictured primarily in silhouette as he leaves each page, although a full picture is on the cover, showing him with UN’s spilling out of his pockets. These fun illustrations create a nice visual background for a well-written picture book about modifying the meaning of words (for the better).

A sad clown is cheered up when his unfunny feelings are ‘undone’ by this word-smithing thief, as well as many others who find themselves in unwelcome situations. The interactive elements for young fingers are perfectly tailored to the narrative, reinforcing concepts well. Tapping on the colored words for things like ‘large’ or ‘small’ and ‘upper’ or ‘lowercase’ causes the “UN” on the screen to change accordingly, for instance. The app has no ‘extras’ but plenty of content to engage young readers in their pursuit of a good story.

Pages are turned by a simple swipe and settings include a page guide, home button but no audio settings. Audio narration is nicely read, feeling polished despite a slight echo, although the text does not highlight as narrated. It’s not obvious at first how to use the ‘read to me’ function unless you first check out the ‘how to’ menu (access it from the title page). To start the voice-over, you simply tap the first letter of the first sentence at the top of the screen.

Note: For silent reading, be aware that there is no way to stop the narration if accidentally triggered, except to swipe the page; this app also over-rides the hard mute button, so volume must be manually muted for sound effects to be silenced (on the iPad, tested only at time of review).

Other helpful tips include to, “try touching and dragging everything!” which is good advice for this title with tiltable, tappable enhancements. Each page is full of things to explore, fun surprises and a story that is worth many repeat visits. HopefullyThe UnStealerwill leave my sentences alone, because this is one unforgettable tale!

Alison note

This app is a delightful story that helps turn the “day” into good with the simple removal of the “un” with lots of interaction on each page, bright colorful illustrations and after the “un” is stolen a happy ending for each of the mini-stories.


Requirements: Compatible with
Size: 0 MB



If you would like to win copy of all 5 apps from The Happy Dandelion, please enter via the widget below. The apps are: The Unstealer, A to Sea (read our review), Queen Bee in Paris, Little Lamb in Amsterdam and Who is the Ugliest of All. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to everyone, worldwide, and an iTunes account is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!

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