Why is Dad So Mad?

Why is Dad Mad9780692420683_p0_v1_s260x420Why is Dad So Mad?

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.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

29 thoughts on “Why is Dad So Mad?

  1. That sounds a great book for empathy, Pat. It’s interesting how different generations deal with war. I know my Granddad was super lazy after the war. It was his way of dealing with it. You made a good point about how different generations dealt with the atrocities. So many kept what happened to themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree Wendy. I was very excited that a soldier father going through a tough time saw what was happening to his family and was motivated to write this story for his daughters. This book will go a long way to helping other military families.


    • Yes, he does help kids know that they aren’t to blame. It is a valuable book! Our grandson returned from war in 2009 suffering from PTSD. He ended up taking his own life. So this is an important topic for me to share.


  2. Pat…what a wonderful book! I think it would be equally valuable for any child whose parents have anger management issues or emotional problems that create a roller coaster of turmoil in the home. And how perfect that the illustrator used lions…this is a must have book for every school, library and doctor’s office.


    • I am glad you like the book! You are right, it would be valuable for any child whose parents have issues with anger. Yes, I thought the lions were a perfect choice — nice metaphor for the father when you see him roaring into a mirror.


  3. I know military families who are dealing with anger issues. It’s a hard subject to tackle in a PB. I’m glad Kastle, a former Army combat soldier, could express his feelings.


    • It is a tough subject to tackle, but Kastle has done it so well. He knows what it’s like to suffer with PTSD. Adds to the books credibility. Great book to share with military families.


    • Yes, there are a lot of soldiers (an others) suffering from PTSD. I had a grandson who had PTSD. It’s an important book for families to help kids understand it’s not their fault.


  4. “It’s an important book for families to help kids understand it’s not their fault.” As you say. And also not to take anger personally. Sometimes grief is displayed as anger and it is easy to take it personally.

    Yes, An important book indeed. 🙂


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