The Dam Keeper
The Dam Keeper

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Series: The Dam Keeper Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Surrounded by a lethal black fog, Sunrise Valley is protected by the dam, a machine run by the unassuming Pig. Now, however, a new threat has arisen, and Pig and his friends must face the unimaginable: life on the other side of the dam.
Catalog Number: #151685
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Tsutsumi, Daisuke,
Pages: 153 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-626-72426-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99811-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-626-72426-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99811-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016961560
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When his father dies, school-aged Pig is the only one left to operate the dam that keeps a deadly fog from rolling into Sunrise Valley. Trapped in the town by his responsibility as dam keeper, Pig is unappreciated by the townspeople and pushed around by his classmates. When the fog begins coming at the dam in stronger and stronger waves, Pig, his only friend, Fox, and school bully Hippo get swept out beyond the dam into a wasteland of dead trees and strange creatures, with only nine days to get home before the next wave rolls in. Based on an Oscar-nominated animated short, the story has been expanded beyond the end of the film. The artwork maintains the feel of the original animation, with light and dark atmosphere playing as large a role as any character. The ghostly images that appear in the fog are decidedly creepy, as is the world beyond the wall, which may put off more timid readers. Those undeterred, however, will be rewarded by beautiful artwork and heartening relationships among the animal characters.
Kirkus Reviews
A deadly fog has rolled in and killed everything in its path, but Sunrise Valley is protected by an
Publishers Weekly
Kondo and Tsutsuma expand on the world of their Oscar-nominated animated short film of the same name, about a young pig who keeps his town safe from a terrifying black fog. The school-age pig is essentially tethered to the dam that protects Sunrise Valley; designed by his late father, the dam-s windmill requires regular winding, isolating the already-lonely pig, who also fears becoming -crazy- like his father. After the surging fog sweeps the pig, his fox best friend, and a combative hippo classmate outside the safe confines of their town, their understanding of the larger world is reshaped by what they discover. Though created digitally, the panels have a rich, painterly quality that never looks away from the story-s many moments of emotional turmoil or actual peril, particularly when the pig confronts the spectral presence of his father or the raging fog itself. The tug-of-war between light and dark extends out of the plot and right into the images in a haunting story that contrasts the power of friendship with the weight of responsibility and the capacity for growth. Ages 7-11. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
Gr 36Years ago, the fog came over the dam, killing Pig's mother. Pig's father maintained the dam that keeps the fog out of Sunrise Valley, and showed Pig how to do the same, until the day he went through the door he said never to open, leaving Pig alone. Now, every day Pig winds up the windmill that blows away the fog, which always creeps back. The fog is almost its own character as Pig (and readers) tries to understand its mysteries. Sometimes it seems like a gas, sometimes it's more like an ocean. Sometimes it's impenetrable, sometimes it reveals mysteries. Pig thinks that he understands how the fog will behave, but then he, Fox, and Hippo are suddenly swept away from the safety of their town and must find their way back home. Based on the 2015 Academy Award-nominated short film, this book is cinematic and filled with action, movement, color, and light. VERDICT For fans of emotional fantasy stories, artistic graphic novels, and stories about overcoming obstacles.Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A deadly fog has rolled in and killed everything in its path, but Sunrise Valley is protected by an expertly crafted mechanical contrivance called the Dam in this graphic-novel series opener based on the 2015 Oscar-nominated short subject of the same name.Pig's father created the Dam and taught Pig everything about it and how to maintain it. But the madness and grief he felt after losing his wife overcame him, and he stepped out into the fog. Now Pig is alone and has assumed the role of dam keeper. Pig's plagued by nightmares and awkward around classmates; his best friend, Fox, is the light in his life. Her kindness and spirit have even tamed the bully Hippo, and she is trying to bring them all closer as friends, though Pig and Hippo aren't quite convinced. School's out, and Pig eases into the comfort of his solo routine of keeping the Dam, but the fog changes into a new kind of threat, forcing him, with Fox and Hippo, into the world beyond. Every panel of artwork is lush and colorful, with frankly cute animals cast as believable middle schoolers in a post-catastrophe "new normal." The ever present threat of death and the bright light of hope in the story are beautifully reflected in the artwork, which uses light to astonishing effect, and an expressive use of lettering throughout. The hardcover is luxuriously printed and bound with pages that lay flat—a pleasure to read. Kondo and Tsutsumi have created what feels like an instant classic, perilous and terrifying but full of heart, with immersive artwork and a rewarding story. Unmissable. (Graphic fantasy. 7-11)
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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
ALA Booklist (9/1/17)
School Library Journal (9/1/17)
Word Count: 2,480
Reading Level: 2.5
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 196102 / grade: Middle Grades

Life in Sunrise Valley is tranquil, but beyond its borders lies certain death. A dangerous black fog looms outside the village, but its inhabitants are kept safe by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig's father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again. Now Pig is the dam keeper. Except for his best friend, Fox, and the town bully, Hippo, few are aware of his tireless efforts. But a new threat is on the horizon--a tidal wave of black fog is descending on Sunrise Valley. Now Pig, Fox, and Hippo must face the greatest danger imaginable: the world on the other side of the dam. Based on the Oscar-nominated animated short film of the same name, The Dam Keeper is a lush, vibrantly drawn graphic novel by Tonko House cofounders Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi.

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