Seth Kastle, Author
Karissa Gonzales-Othon, Illustrator
Tall Tales Press and Kastle Books, Fiction, Mar. 14, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Military Families, PTSD, Anger, Family Relationships, Love
Opening: “Mom. Why is Dad so MAD all the time?”
Kastle Books Synopsis: Why Is Dad So Mad? Is a narrative story told from a family’s point of view (mother and children) of a service member who struggles with PTSD and its symptoms. Many service members deal with anger, forgetfulness, sleepless nights, and nightmares.This book explains these and how they affect Dad. The moral of the story is that even though Dad gets angry and yells, he still loves his family more than anything
Why I like this book:
- Seth Kastle is a former Army combat soldier who suffers from PTSD following two tours served in the Middle East. I first saw him interviewed about this important book on the NBC Nightly News.
- Kastle has written this heartfelt picture book for his two daughters and other military families to help them understand the changes that occur when military members return from war.
- The story narrative is told from the family’s point of view. The text is simple and straightforward, allowing for many questions and discussions between parent and child. The characters feature a family of lions, which is a gentle and less threatening way to portray a troubled family.
- Kastle’s book is a labor of love for his family and for service members who want to start a dialogue with their children. There are many changes for military members returning from war and adjustments for the entire family. This book is a valuable resource that can encourage open and honest communications to help families get through some very tough times.
- Karissa Gonzales-Othon’s illustrations are simply rendered in ink and pastels with a lot of white space. They help the reader focus on the lion’s emotions (angry roar) and his interactions between the lioness and the cubs.
Favorite Lines: “It’s Like Dad always has a FIRE inside his chest. When he gets mad. The FLAME grows and grows really quickly. When he gets mad. It’s like the FIRE is in control of him.”
Note: Kastle has also authored a book Why is Mom So Mad?, which is scheduled for release in August 2015. He explains that there are very few books that “address the issues combat mothers face when they return to their families.”
Resources: Why is Dad So Mad is an excellent resource for families. First of all it helps children realize they aren’t the reason the parent is angry. The book helps children ask important questions and get answers. Dialogue between parent and child starts the healing process. Follow Seth Kastle at his website and on his Facebook page, Why is Dad So Angry, where there is a wealth of information for military families.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.