My Daddy is Different

By Suzi Faed • Released 15 November 2019

My Daddy is Different - Cover and illustrations from the book

I used to have a Daddy who was like all other Daddies. One who would go to work, and play with me when he was home. But one day, something changed. He started saying strange things, doing strange things. I was confused.

Sometimes people can act strangely and it can be a bit frightening and sometimes they need to get help to be better and to feel like themselves again. My Daddy is Different is a beautiful story to nurture any children who might have an adult special to them who is suffering from mental illness. Children can be empowered about mental illness, educated to know that they are still loved and that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of, but something to be talked about. It is by having meaningful discussions that we can nurture and encourage children to feel safe and supported.

Available by order through Empowering Resources:


For retail and library distribution and sales order through New South Books:

Also available from Booktopia and Dymocks

Download the extra resources below:


Empowering Resources bring to us books for very young children to explain situations that they might have difficulty in understanding. This book looks at mental illness and the changes in personality a person can appear to have for a small child in a way that educates and makes mental illness something to be talked about: ‘This wasn’t fun. This was confusing! Things didn’t get better. Daddy didn’t get better. We couldn’t help him, so mummy took him to a place that could.’ The ending is open-ended. The author Suzi Faed’s father had a mental illness which affected her childhood – so she speaks from experience in ‘My Daddy is Different’.
– Child Mags Online

Although it made me cry due to the powerful message, it is a story that must be told and will benefit so many. It is about a little boy whose dad becomes affected by mental illness. The story likens the illness to a fog coming over this father and explains the changes as perceived by the boy in the story. Any child who is affected by a family member facing depression/anxiety or any mental illness would be relieved to read this book and have the situation explained. I would recommend this book to all parents and educators.
– Joelene Lavrick, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary)

This is a lovely child-focused book that will assist children and their families in better navigating some of life’s challenges. Suzi allows us into a child’s world, exploring feelings and one child’s perspective of having a parent with a mental illness.
The insights in ‘My Daddy is Different’ are uplifting and empowering.
– Mrs Jay Anderson (Psychologist, Counsellor & Play Therapist) My Child My Family & South West Wellbeing Centre

Inspired by her own Dad who had Schizophrenia, ‘My Daddy is Different’ by Suzi Faed is written for children out there who also have a parent who has a mental illness.

As a child, Suzi had no idea how to deal with the situation or why her Dad was so different. She couldn’t see how the mental illness affected him – only her.

‘My Daddy is Different’ aims to shed a light on this and the fact that yes, the child does have a right to feel angry and upset but also to know that they can talk to other people about this to not only support themselves but support the person who is dealing with this illness.

The story is well written, thought provoking and emotional. You can feel how the child feels about their father and how important talking about our fears and concerns can be.

Lisa Coutts soft illustrations are a strength to this story – showing the love, the fear, the joy and the anger. They intertwine with the story, showing the emotions and how the child feels towards those around them.

Families who know someone with a mental illness must read this story. It shows the importance of talking about their fears, having a community and being understanding. It also shows that perhaps life will not be what we expect it to be – but small steps and small acts of kindness can make it all a lot better.

This is a wonderful book to share in the classroom as the more people are aware of what mental illness is, they will have less of a need to fear it, to make fun of it or to lock it away. Children need to know that anyone can have a mental illness and with a more compassionate world, we can help these people to live a better life.
– Vanessa Ryan-Rendall (Primary School Teacher/Librarian)


Suzi Faed


Lisa Coutts

Release Date

15 November 2019


Empowering Resources


Children's Picture Book

Age Range



$17 paperback | $25 hardback


9 781925592184 (Paperback)

9 781925592177 (Hardback)

Number of Pages