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 pageguide, 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!
This app has been thoroughly evaluated by our staff. Please click on the 'star ratings' tab above, to see how it fared in all nine of our rating categories. See synopsis tab for more details about the storyline.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Joshua Wilson/Donna Wilson
10 - 12 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: Yes
Age: 5 - 8 +
The UnStealer is a story about a thief who sneaks into situations and steals the "un" from the front of descriptive words ultimately turning negative events and feelings into positive ones.
Includes an original story, beautiful illustrations, narration and tons of interactivity on over 18 pages.
Uncover the fun of The UnStealer for yourself!
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