Children’s Book Author, Illustrator to Speak

CANTON — Author Glenn S. Guiles and illustrator Ray Whalen will hold a gallery discussion at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at St. Lawrence University's Richard F. Brush Art Gallery in the Griffiths Arts Center.

Guiles, a professor and dean emeritus of music admissions at the State University of New York at Potsdam, got the inspiration for the book from his own herd of small donkeys.

The book is about Harriet, the youngest and smallest miniature donkey of a large herd. Miniature donkeys are mild-mannered and curious animals that love to be near people, but Harriet is unable to get close enough to the farmer and the other donkeys to get any attention. A Hug for Harriet is the story of her move to her new home and finally getting close enough to her new owner to get the hug she always wanted.

Whalen, who is an art educator at Parishville-Hopkinton Central School, had illustrated an earlier children’s book, Big Mama Buffalo and the Gift of the Great Mystery, written by Sandy Maine. Whalen has also worked occasionally for the Brush Art Gallery for nearly 20 years and currently has pictures on display at the Owen D. Young Library.

“The narrative of A Hug for Harriet is present time specific,” Whalen explained. “So I illustrated this book more realistically than Big Mama Buffalo. It’s much tighter, and there’s more white area, giving it a more airy and open feeling.”

The discussion will kick off the exhibition “A Hug for Harriet: Watercolor Illustrations by Ray Whalen,” which will run from Oct. 21 to Dec. 12 in the Brush Art Gallery.

For more information, visit