715-232-2164 HOURS: M-F 9-6, Sat 9-3 info@menomonielibrary.org

Ken Lonnquist kicks off Music Over Menomin Jr.  June 6 at 6:00 p.m. on the library lawn.  Along with our partners at the Mayo Clinic Health System, we are excited to bring this well known children’s songwriter and performer to Menomonie.  I’m going to borrow from a music review by Sally Russell, in the Minnesota Parent Magazine to describe Ken’s music.

“Ken Lonnquist is the most astounding thing to happen to children’s—no, make that family—music since… well, since forever. There is no way to adequately describe the music he creates or capture the charm of his live performances, no one to whom he can be compared.  I cannot imagine what our lives would be like without his music in our home, our car, as a part of our family language. And the scary thing is, I only stumbled onto him by accident.  Six months pregnant and unwilling to sit another moment watching my ankles swell at the playground, five-year-old Malcolm and I sauntered down the street a muggy summer day in search of respite. The Wild Rumpus bookstore was cool and welcoming. Part library, part animal sanctuary, part retail space, all fun; it’s the sort of bookstore where children come first in an entirely uncontrived way.  Apparently, many knew of Ken Lonnquist’s performance that day, and the excitement was palpable. When this exuberant character stepped forward with a guitar and microphone, everything I knew and believed about music aimed at children flew out the charming children’s store’s front door. Ken hunkered down with the kids and sang songs that resonated with them about one-speed bikes, X-ray specs, elephants, and enormous cats. He stood tall, winked at parents, and spun stories of foolish children who neglect “please” and “thank you” then are whisked away by fairies to dark and mysterious fates. For an all-too-brief afternoon, filled with equal amounts of joy and fun, he held our hearts with his music.  My husband and I were stunned when we started listening to Ken. Where did this guy come from? Why hadn’t we heard about him before?  Ever since that chance meeting, his music has been a part of our family and so, naturally, has Ken. What if we hadn’t walked into the store that day? There are no accidents, only collisions of fate. Ken Lonnquist is among my happiest karmic fender benders.”

~ Sally Russell is a frequent contributor to Minnesota Parent