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Storybook Maker By Merge Mobile- Review and Giveaway

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Storybook Maker is an iPad only app from Merge Mobile. It is designed to make it simple for adults and children to create their own storybooks and to share them with others. As well as creating your own stories you can also use the app to access and download books created by others that are in the community library. The app contains no adverts, in-app purchases or social media links but does have a “more apps” button which leads to iTunes and a feedback button, I would like to see these child proofed.

Creating a book is very simple – click “new book”, give it a working title and start creating! First create a Title Page, then you can choose from a variety of templates – blank, photo, multiple photos or various combinations of photo and text. The pages are always in portrait orientation,

iPad Screenshot 3Each page can have a white background or you can select from a wide choice of patterned, colored backgrounds (and choose how pale or strong the background is). There are also lots of different borders to choose from which can go around an image or a page. When selecting an image to go in a photo box on the page, you can choose an image from your photo album, take a photo with your device camera or choose from the huge sticker library. Images can be re-sized, rotated, duplicated and given background colors or borders. Merge Mobile are the developers of the ”Clicky Sticky” line of sticker book apps, and a huge library of their stickers can be found in this app. As well as regular stickers it contains ”physics stickers” which are balls, trucks etc. that really move once you have completed the page; it can be fun to incorporate one or two of these in the book to add an extra element of fun to it.

As well as adding photos and stickers you can also use the included art tools to draw your own pictures and even combine them with photos or stickers.

There are also lots of options for the text- there are a variety of font styles, sizes and colors to choose from and the text box can be resized, rotated, borders and background colors added and the text justification changed.

Each page can also have it’s own background music or sound effects (such as applause, ocean, jungle or night sounds) and the story maker can record their own narration.

iPad Screenshot 2To create a new page just click the + button and the current page is saved and you can create the next page. Your completed book is saved in your app library, but you can also share it with others. It can be sent as a PDF (with no sound or animations), sent as a book app to someone else who owns this app or added to the Storybook maker public library. Books are screened before being added to the public library and certain criteria must be met e.g. no pictures of people, private information or inappropriate content.

This app has no instructions you just dive in and start creating, most of how is use it is very intuitive, but sometimes there are things that I wish there were instructions for – for instance in drawing mode is there a way to hide the paint toolbar so you can color to the edge of the page? It also took me a while to figure out how to get a sticker to appear on a drawn background (it automatically goes behind the drawing and you have to click the settings cog and put it in front to be able to see it). Because of this I would like to see a page with a how to guide, for times when you get stuck. I do also find at times that it can be tricky to work on things close to the edge of the pages as the toolbars can get in the way, it would be nice to be able to hide these when needed. I’d also love to have some generic picture backgrounds added to the background options e.g. an underwater scene, a snowy landscape, a beach, a grassy meadow.

Overall, I am really impressed with this storybook maker. I love all the different options it has; it gives children (and adults) lots of room to express their creativity. With this one app you can make photo albums, embellished with text and stickers; make a travel journal; create photo collages; create storybooks with your own narration and background music; and create social stories to prepare your child for upcoming events. My nine-year old son quickly created his own storybooks from it, and I used it with my daughter to create a social story for her recent orthodontist appointment and to create fun stories too.

Although I have some suggestions for improvements I would like to see in future updates, it is already an incredible tool for creating story books and I would highly recommend downloading it today.

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