Koos Kombuis has released a children's book - in English, nogal!

Kombuis has written a "fun-filled, modern version of the ancient ugly duckling tale" under the nom de plume of Joe Kitchen

09 April 2019 - 11:02 By Naledi Press
children's book writer, Sauvignon Blanc aficionado and Robin Auld fan.
Introducing Joe Kitchen: children's book writer, Sauvignon Blanc aficionado and Robin Auld fan.
Image: Naledi Press

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare asked in his day. You may find Koos Kombuis, also known as Joe Kitchen, pondering this question over a few glasses. This versatile artist is causing quite a stir, this time as a bilingual writer of children’s books who, at the same time, introduces another nom de plume, Joe Kitchen.

André Letoit is not an unfamiliar name, but his readers and music fans know him as Koos Kombuis. Initially he considered reverting back to André Letoit, but then he saw the persona that Willim Welsyn constructed for his English CDs: William Welfare. It was such a straightforward and obvious solution.

“The penny finally dropped when my children’s favourite teacher, Rob Moll (to whom the new books are dedicated) at Somerset West Private School, introduced me one evening at a school function as ‘Jacob Kitchen’.

“From there it transformed to ‘Jack Kitchen’, but then I realised there is such a guy in America, and I didn’t want to intrude on his space, so eventually I became ‘Joe Kitchen’.”

Other writers may be apprehensive about arbitrarily changing the name they publish under. It is, after all, no easy task to establish a name in the book trade. Not Koos.

“I’m not worried that readers will be scared away,” he says. “Especially because the book is published at the same time in Afrikaans under Koos Kombuis’.

“I’m exactly the same guy as Koos Kombuis,” he muses. “But Koos drinks red wine, Joe prefers Sauvignon blanc. Koos drinks coffee, Joe tea. Koos listens to Jack Parow and Fokofpolisiekar, Joe likes the Bottomless Coffee Band and Robin Auld.”

The books, titled Hubert the Useless Unicorn and Eben die Ellendige Eenhoring, are published by Naledi. They will hit the shelves in April and will also be available from Naledi’s website. These children’s books are cheerfully illustrated by Koos and are undoubtedly a horse of another colour, but stay true to his informal, accessible style.

Kitchen describes Hubert the Useless Unicorn as a “fun-filled, modern version of the ancient ugly duckling tale. I see this story as a light-hearted and humorous attempt to reconcile two strictly opposing ideologies: the belief in creationism and the theory of evolution.”

X