Ganesha, I think it is safe to say, is the most beloved of all Hindu Gods and Goddesses. He is loved by everyone who comes into contact with him, whether Hindu or not. Ganesha is known as the remover of obstacles and so he is usually the very first God you will pray to no matter the circumstance.
It’s easy to find a lot of information about Ganesha, from stories to images. Here are some sites with a lot of stories about Ganesh:
There are several explanations for how Ganesha came to have an elephant’s head. In all of them, he started out all human (often crafted by Parvati out of clay). In some versions Shiva cuts off his head in anger, in others just the sight of Shiva causes his head to explode. Shiva saves the child’s life by giving him the head of a nearby elephant instead.
My favorite story is the one where Ganesha and his brother have a contest to see who can race around the world the fastest (the brother being in much better physical shape than Ganesha, he is certain that he will win). While the brother rushes off, Ganesha slowly walks around his parents: Shiva and Parvati. In some versions he declares that his parents are his whole world. He is declared the winner. This story illustrates how Ganesha finds creative solutions to problems.
My friend, Jeramy, though he is an atheist, still has this bumper sticker:
I think in my house I have at least six images of Lord Ganesh!