Sunday, November 10, 2019

Story (Twine): Nursery Rhyme Maze

This is sort of a story... but it's not exactly a story I wrote, but instead a story I made with Twine: it's a Nursery Rhyme Maze. You can click here to see a full-screen version.

Like in a maze, there is one exit, and there are various ways to get to that exit. You will start at The Lion and the Unicorn. If you are lucky... very lucky... you will exit the maze in a few clicks. There are also a lot of dead-ends, and when you get to a dead-end, you have to start over. And, hey, along the way you'll get to read some fun nursery rhymes! :-)

The Lion and the Unicorn
illustration by L. Leslie Brooke

If you're curious what the Twine screen looks like, here it is (screenshot). I used the Chapbook style, and the iframe version here in the blog is 450 pixels wide and 450 pixels high. This was the first time I used Chapbook, and it was really nice! You have to use HTML, but it's nothing complicated. I used br tags for the line breaks, and I also bolded the links.

SPOILERS. If you want to get out of the maze, you need to find the garden gate. The dog Blue Bell can take you there, or you can go through Mary Gray's house (there are lots of ways to get to her house!), or you might get some help from buttered cake. :-)

And here are the rhymes:

The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
Robin and Richard were two pretty men
Bessy Bell and Mary Gray
"Hie, hie," says Anthony
Mary had a pretty bird
In the month of February
The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
If all the world was apple-pie
Come, butter, come
There was a crooked man, and he went a crooked mile
I had a little nut-tree, nothing would it bear
Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess
Little Tom Tucker
Three blind mice, see how they run!
Did you see my wife, did you see, did you see
Hush-a-bye, baby, on the tree top
To market, to market, to buy a plum-cake
Rock-a-bye, baby, thy cradle is green
Bat, bat (clap hands)
"Pussy-cat, pussy-cat
See-saw sacradown
Dear, dear! what can the matter be?
As Tommy Snooks and Bessy Brooks
Pussicat, wussicat, with a white foot
Dance to your daddy
Hey! diddle, diddle
Cushy cow, bonny, let down thy milk
As soft as silk, as white as milk
Little Boy Blue, come, blow your horn!
Baa, baa, black sheep

The Real Mother Goose illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright
Donkey, donkey, old and gray
On Saturday night
Hark, hark! the dogs do bark!

The Nursery Rhymes of England illustrated by W. B. Scott
Eggs, butter, bread
Clap hands, clap hands
I had a little dog, and his name was Blue Bell


  1. Hi Laura! This "story" was so much fun! I loved your idea of making an interactive game of the nursery rhymes you read. I'll be honest, it took me a little bit to figure out the game and "get out of the maze" because I didn't want to look at the spoilers but once I did, I felt like I had both accomplished something and learned about nursery rhymes! Great job!

  2. Hi Laura!

    Twine seems so cool! I definitely want to try it out now, I love mazes. The rhyme was fun to read and made me smile. I especially enjoyed the idea of people giving bread to these fighting animals. The image you included of the Lion and the Unicorn was great, I particularly love the colors and facial expressions. This was great, nursery ryhmes are so fun!

  3. Hello Laura!

    This is amazing! its crazy to see the amount of work you've put into this blog post. I've seen some storybooks with an interactive aspect to them but none ever in this way. I appreciate how every step of your "maze" was a different poem. Great Job!

  4. Hi Professor,

    Wow this was pretty cool! Part of me wishes I knew about Twine earlier in the semester so I could try to create something like this. This reminds me of one of the Labyrinth maze storybook project from another student in our class. I like how each rhyme connects to another rhyme through a simple keyword. I ended up picking canary and got stuck in the maze haha. Maybe next time!


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