The Surprise (Home‪)‬ 4+

Hamaguchi Learning & Development, LLC

Designed for iPad

    • 4.7 • 23 Ratings
    • $2.99

iPad Screenshots


A wonderful, wordless "book" ! Perfect for eliciting language.

From "Hamaguchi Apps has revolutionized storytelling in their application, "You're the Storyteller: The Surprise."

In this beautifully animated, wordless story, the child watches each scene and can then record and/or write their very own narration! This is the HOME version. It is for a single user only, and for the iPAD. (This app is not available for the iPhone) Check out our Youtube demo video:

In this delightful story, a boy brings home a stray dog and attempts to hide it from his mother. Using body language, facial expressions, and carefully selected sound effects, the story unfolds and we find out why this story is called “The Surprise!”

There are 8 chapters in this wordless book. Each chapter’s animation clips runs an average of 15 seconds, allowing the child to describe and retell the story in small increments. The user may replay the entire narrated story from beginning to end via the Table of Contents. You can also watch the original story with or without music accompaniment, email your story including the voice file, or print it out!

There are “Challenge Words” provided for each chapter. These are optional and for more advanced language learners who want to try and put them into their narration. The “Questions” bone provides 3 questions for each chapter. Answers and suggestions for both of these are available in the Information page.

This is the HOME version. Only one user’s voice file and one written narration is kept in the program. When a new recording or writing is provided, it erases whatever was previously recorded or written. (The Professional Version keeps the voice/narration files for up to 30 users)

Aside from being just plain FUN, this app lends itself well to a host of educational and therapeutic possibilities: practice with articulation, fluency, syntax development, social cognitive skills including perspective-taking and body language/facial expression interpretation, and much more!

PRIVACY POLICY: We do NOT collect personal data from our users and have no ads. Personal data regarding user performance on the tasks on this app are self-contained and not transmitted in any way, unless emailed by the user to someone else. There are no in-app purchases in this app. A demo link will allow a user with internet access to view a video on YouTube to learn about the features of this app, as well as a link to our other apps in the iTunes store.

Developed by noted speech-language pathologist and author of Childhood Speech, Language & Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know, Patti Hamaguchi, M.A., CCC-SLP.
To find out more about this app and our other upcoming projects, visit our website:

Questions or need Tech Support? Email us at

What’s New

Version 1.5

Bug fix for IOS 14

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

cwolfpack3 ,

Universal Design, Encourages Writing Skills

Hamaguchi Apps has another winner on their hands!

I love that children can add their own text and narration to the animated video clips of each scene in the story. They can also go back and edit their entries later. A child who is not yet reading can simply play the videos to watch, if they are speaking or comprehend speech, narration can be added to work on communication and sequencing skills. Children who are emerging writers can type the text into each page AND/OR narrate the scene. This allows for children at various levels of ability in the same age group class to work on these skills together, but at their own level.

Speech therapists will love this app for the sequencing, making inferences from the pictures, labeling, and more. Students will be engaged by hearing their own voices and can make corrections in their articulation to increase clarity.

speddavenport ,

Wow! What a wonderful writing tool!

I am looking at this app through the eye's of a teacher. This app is awesome for the beginning writer. It allows them to watch the video and then they can either write or record a story to go with the video. Many times students have trouble writing because they can not think of anything to write about or they want to just write a sentence or two. This app makes it fun for them to create and then write a complete story. It also works on using and recognizing certain words. The students will love recording their stories and listening to the playback. I believe that is app is worth 5 stars! The pro version would be great for special education classroom as well as your lower grade levels! I can't wait to start using this with my kindergarten kids! It leads them into the writing process without them knowing it :)

Judd167 ,

Fun creative outlet!

This is such a great app for varying age levels. My son just wanted to talk about the "movie", and then loved to hear himself on the playback! My son needs my help in recording, and then I write his words, but for older children who are fully independent this will suit them too! The story is so cute, but the thing that I like the best about the app is that no story is the same, and building a story from a video is a great use of creativity and helps foster the love of reading at an early age!

Technically the user interface is very friendly to use! I am ALL about having an app that is easy to navigate for both myself and my child. The picture quality is better than many other book apps that I've used!

Two thumbs up from both mommy and kiddos!

App Privacy

The developer, Hamaguchi Learning & Development, LLC, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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