Malamander Resources

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Visit Thomas Taylor’s website 

Link to youtube video

Below are some ideas about how to explore the book’s themes creatively.

Draw one of the places, e.g the book dispensary or the hotel. Create a view through the window  to make a cityscape/shadow picture.

Draw the Mermonkey.

Create a seascape out of pebbles and shells.

Make a map of an Eerie town by the sea on a giant piece of paper as a group activity.

  • Find some maps from fantasy books (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Narnia, Peter Pan, etc.), some real historical maps, tube maps, theme parks, video games, etc. Talk about what features the maps have, what it tells you about the world/place. Think about how maps might inspire a story, which ones they like or recognise. You could link this activity to geography (scale, symbols, map-reading, that sort of thing).
  • Put students into groups, give them big sheets of paper and drawing supplies and let them create a map of their own imaginary landscape. Ask students to present their work when it is completed.

Paint an egg (blow yolk out etc) or create an egg using tissue paper.

Make a pinhole camera – perhaps your Science department might help.


Investigate Legends/folk tales of sea & sea creatures.  Discuss sea monsters in different mythologies.

The adults in Malamander are named after things you might find by the sea -Seegol, Mollusc and Fossil, Kraken Thalassi (Thalasso means sea in Greek) whilst the children are named after sweets. Research the names mentioned e.g. Jenny Haniver.

Prescription pad of books – ask students to write prescriptions for people visiting your library e.g. feeling sad, cross, lazy, tired.

Discussion questions

Regarding the names within the book – what did you think as you were reading the book? Did you realise they were all connected to the sea? Have you noticed this idea in other books? Have you read any books where the name is the opposite to the character’s personality?

Who is Herbert? What is his backstory? Is he linked to Violet?

What happened to Violet’s Dad?

What happened to Violet’s Mum? P93, p136.

Did her parents wish for a baby using the egg? Was that Violet? Is that why they went missing?