Posted in A to Z Blog Challenge 2018

V is for South African Children’s Poet Philip de Vos, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA


Philip de Vos

Philip de Vos used to be a language teacher and opera singer; he is also a photographer, radio presenter and award-winning writer and poet. He has published 30 books of light verse, limericks, novels and children’s books in both English and Afrikaans. He has also done rhyming translations of more than 50 children’s books into Afrikaans including 12 by Julia Donaldson. Three of Philip’s books are in light verse in English, inspired by well known classical works. Carnival of the Animals (based on the work of Saint-Saëns), Pictures at an Exhibition illustrated by Piet Grobler (based on Mussorgsky’s music), and coming in May 2018, Day for a Hullabaloo also illustrated by Piet Grobler, (based on Kinderszenen by Robert Schumann).


Here is one of Philip’s poems in English:


Children of another land
are sometimes hard to understand.
When the sunlight floods my room,
other children watch the moon.
When I’m good, then they are bad.
When I’m happy, they are sad.
Other children, other faces,
other words and other places:
Baba Yaga, marabou,
Lorelei and cockatoo,
Yokohama, Gazankulu,
Mali, Bali, Honolulu.
Children of another land
are sometimes hard to understand …

© Philip de Vos (from Day for a Hullabaloo 2018)


Here is Philip reading some of his poems in English:

And here Philip sings the musical setting of one of his poems (in Africaans):

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You can hear more about children’s poets and poetry, if you follow The Children’s Poetry Summit, @kidspoetsummit on Twitter








Award-Wining Children's Poet, Author, Wildlife and Climate enthusiast, NPD Ambassador, blogger and owner of Lola the retired alert dog and Paddy the alert dog in training. Books include CLiPPA shortlisted Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Editor of Shaping the World, Author of Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars and Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals via Zoom and give lessons on writing poetry for children. @Lizpoet

6 thoughts on “V is for South African Children’s Poet Philip de Vos, #AtoZChallenge #ZtoA

    1. Hello, Keith, yes – you must be younger than me. When I was a child, everywhere, there was poetry, in comics, in annuals, in the newspapers and magazines. Lear’s The Pobble Who Has No Toes and Stevensen’s From a Railway Carriage are two that were in my Treasure Annual. i loved poetry from that… so often that love is replaced by the memories of having to dissect and give meaning, ONE meaning to poems during exams, when what you get from a poem is personal and should remain that way, imo.


      1. I very much doubt I’m younger than you but it’s lovely to hear you think so! I’m going to stick with your last sentence and agree that appreciation of poetry is subjective. I have to say though, I’m enjoying these!


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