THE CIRCUS KENLANDO
“This fabulous show is not a circus in the conventional sense"only two of the 28 songs even mention the â€˜C’ word"but the circus concept is as loose and baggy and full of pocket novelties as a clown’s trousers. Ringmaster Ken Lonnquist’s extravaganza does boast a veritable menagerie and a tidy sideshow of exotic characters. The latter include the shady, all-knowing Guru Guy, the nose-offending outlaw Windy Bill, and a slam-dunk wizard. Best of all is The Switcher-On Of Stars, a slightly mystical epic about the adventures that befall the title character, the earth, and the heavens. Considering its abundance of diverse material and musical styles (including credible calypso and western swing), The Circus Kenlando is well worth the price of admission."
"Paul Shackman, Booklist
Parents in Kenland
Not long after I moved to Madison, I found myself at the Pooh Corner Bookstore shopping for some music for my kids, who were pretty little at the time'"roughly 3-1/2 and and 18 months, I think.
Now, call me an old grump if you must, but I can take about 10 minutes of Raffi before I have to leave the room, and I won’t go into the room in the first place if there’s any reason to believe Barney’s lurking in there.
But as I was browsing the cassette offerings, I spotted this odd-looking orange tape. It was called The Circus Kenlando by somebody named Ken Lonnquist, and it contained a bunch of songs that sounded interesting enough, with titles like GuruGuy and X-Ray Specs. I brought the tape home, and within a few minutes I had to rethink my whole attitude towards children’s songwriting.
The tunes on this recording were not just good children’s songs'"they were good songs, period. Expertly crafted, and performed with extraordinary charm and skill. I soon found out that most of Madison, and the rest of the region, already knew how good Lonnquist was. He had been a mainstay of the children’s entertainment scene for years, and was also well-known for his outstanding work as a songwriter and performer for the general adult audience.
'"Bob Jacobson, Kids Magazine