lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

V is for Children’s Poets Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Tracie Vaughn and Philip de Vos

Philip de Vos



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):




Tracie Vaughn



Tracie Vaughn

As well as being a poet, Tracie Vaughn is an author and teacher at the same school where she was once a student near Cincinnati, Ohio. Tracie also writes discussion guides and other book-related guides (more than 400 of them at this point!) and she serves on the Scripps National Spelling Bee word team.  When she’s not reading, grading, or writing lessons she’s probably thinking about reading, grading or writing. Find her online here. Her last poetry book, Cousins of Clouds: Elephant Poems, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy, is here.

Here is one of Tracie’s poems:


Butterfly Bush 


The purple spires

of the plant have finally burst open

after hiding in the ground under brittle sticks all winter

spending all spring stretching toward sky

towering now over the border at ten feet–

no, eleven

not a single butterfly has alighted

on the lacy blooms

but fat bumblebees cruise in all day

and a honey bee or two, those humble servants to ecology

arrive late to the buffet

then a hummingbird zings in for late tea:

skittish winged fairy

sips in frantic pulses

then evaporates into the leaves of the linden tree

once more.


© Tracie Vaughn


Amy Ludwig VanDerwater



.Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is an American poet who writes for young people. She loves to bake, knit, and scribble poems in her cozy farmhouse in upstate New York. You can find her online at The Poem Farm, her blog for children. Her latest two books are Dreaming of You (available from Penguin Random House here, and Boyd’s Mill Press in the US). You can find Amy on Twitter here.


Amy’s blog is brilliant and her Twitter stream is always interesting and full of children’s poetry. Here is one of Amy’s lovely poems:




  1. Love that you are Z to A-ing!


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