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Cover for The Dam Keeper, Book 1

The Dam Keeper, Book 1

Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi


List Price: 25.99*
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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.

Praise For The Dam Keeper, Book 1

"A beautifully realized, wonderfully painted tale of courage and mystery." —Shaun Tan, author of The Arrival

"The Dam Keeper is beautiful in every way a graphic novel can be beautiful. A stunner." —Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and author of American Born Chinese

With a startling sincerity and an almost alchemical use of light , The Dam Keeper manages to believably place very cute animals in an incredibly dark and complex world. I've never seen anything quite like it before."
—Brian Selznick, Caldecott winning author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

"Gorgeous digital art that vividly illustrated the interplay of sunlight and shadow... Intriguing." —New York Times

"Merged with profound and touching coming-of-age themes, The Dam Keeper invites a groundswell of emotion." —Paste

"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." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"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." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"For fans of emotional fantasy stories, artistic graphic novels, and stories about overcoming obstacles."— School Library Journal

Beautiful artwork and heartening relationships among the animal characters." —Booklist

First Second, 9781626724266, 160pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2017

About the Author

Originally from Southern California, Robert Kondo graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and has worked at Oblique Strategies and Angel Studios. Robert's film credits include Sets Art Director for Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, and Monsters University. He is the co-director (along with Dice Tsutsumi) of the award-winning animated film The Dam Keeper.

Dice Tsutsumi, originally from Japan, is a celebrated illustrator, painter, and philanthropist. Dice's paintings have exhibited around the world, and in 2009, his first children's book I Can Hear was published in Japan. A graduate from The School of Visual Arts in New York, Dice has worked as a visual development/color key artist at Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age, Robots and Horton Hears a Who! His credits at Pixar Animation include Lighting Art Director forToy Story 3 and Monsters University. Dice is passionate about charity work and spearheaded both The Totoro Forest Project and Sketchtravel. He is the co-director (along with Robert Kondo) of the award-wining animated filmThe Dam Keeper.