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Indiana author and illustrator collaborate on children’s book about President Harrison’s pet goat

Indiana author and illustrator collaborate on children’s book about President Harrison’s pet goat

What a delight! It’s a book that tells the true story of President Benjamin Harrison’s pet goat that lived on the White House grounds. The goat often was spotted taking the president’s grandchildren on wagon rides on the lawn but one day escaped with Grandson Baby McKee in tow.

President Harrison, upon discovering the goat was missing, went running down Pennsylvania Avenue in hot pursuit, his top hat in one hand and cane in the other. The story, delightful in its own right, will offer readers surprising insight into Indiana’s only president, the popularity of presidential pets at the White House during the 19th Century, and the enduring relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren—regardless of grandpa’s station in life. 

Donna Griffin, Author, “Old Whiskers Escapes!”, and Gary Varvel, Illustrator, “Old Whiskers Escapes!”, tell us more about their year-long collaboration!

The book published July 1 and is the first in the series – Grandpa President. The children’s book is hardcover, 32 pages and sells for $18.95

Book signing and reading on July 4th during the Independence Day Social at the Benjamin Harrison Site. Reading 2 and 3:30 p.m. and signings 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. This is a free community event. 

Donna Griffin lives in Greenfield, Indiana. She has been a writer, editor, and teacher for more than thirty years. A native Hoosier, she served as editor and general manager of the Times-Post weekly newspaper in Pendleton, Indiana, and other Central Indiana newspapers for sixteen years, owning and operating her own weekly newspaper. Griffin is the author of The Twelve Days of Christmas in Indiana published in 2014. 

A native Hoosier and current resident of Brownsburg, Indiana, Gary Varvel won his first cartoon contest during his freshman year at Danville High School. Soon, he was fulfilling a career dream and becoming a cartoonist at The Indianapolis Star. Varvel has won many national cartooning awards including: the 2012 National Headliners Award, the 2011 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the 2010 National Cartoonists Society Reuben Award, and the 2010 Grambs Aronson Award for Cartooning with a Conscience. In 2015, Varvel was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. 

Purchase the book on or at Barnes & Noble, presidential site website: