Life is always better with some magic in it, and during these days it's essential. People yearn for the magic they used to find in traveling, discovering new places and the special, unique experiences in those new places. One of the most magical and exquisite places to travel is Paris, France. It's somewhere I haven't been, but it's on my list, which has now, unfortunately, been put on hold. But, we humans are resourceful creatures and are quick to adapt. If we can't leave home to go to Paris, then we will find a way to bring Paris to our home. How fortunate we now armchair travelers are to have the publication of a new book that captures the essence of Paris in its subject matter. The Carousels of Paris by Kaye Wilkinson Barley, with photographs by Kaye Wilkinson Barley and Don Barley, is an adventure that enchants and brings joy. The variety of carousel animals and carriages are delightful and beautifully photographed by the Barleys. Kaye's introduction and narratives of historical interest and descriptive location are the perfect guide to enrich the journey through this world of whimsical fancy. From the capturing of the brass bell to the bicycle carousel to the uncovering of the extinct dodo, this is a special book that I keep beside my chair to look at again and again, and every look brings me the same feeling of joy I had as a child when I rode on my first captivating carousel ride. Like Kaye Barley, this fascination that began as a child has stayed with me through the decades. So, if your heart, soul, and mind could use some uplifting, The Carousels of Paris will wrap you in its charm and beauty, and when we can once again physically travel to Paris, you can include a tour of carousels, too.
It's hard to pick out favorite photos and carousel rides in a book where every photo brings delight, but I have managed to choose four photos that I want to share as representative of the wonderful world of whimsey in this book. Because it was the horses I first fell in love with as a child, I had to include a picture of the ornately decorated horses so typical of what comes to mind with the term carousel. The second photo shows that it's not only the rides that are so beautifully adorned, that the attention to detail extends to the entire carousel, with the ceilings depicting scenes from Paris or other themes. Next is a photo of the entire magnificent carousel, with horses and rabbits and pigs and decorative seats to ride. Last is the charming photo of one of the rabbit rides, waiting for its next passenger to thrill. These photographs are but a small sampling of all the marvelous wonders of the carousels of Paris that Kaye and Don Barley bring to you in their amazing book.