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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Dam Keeper

The Dam Keeper

The Dam Keeper (Volume 1)

written and illustrated by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

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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.

Eisner Award Nominee, Evanston IL Public Library Best Books of the Year

Praise for The Dam Keeper

"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 re… More…









"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

Less…

Reviews from Goodreads

written and illustrated by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

Robert Kondo was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. As a child, he learned art from his mother, a trained fashion designer, which led him to study illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. For twelve years, he worked at Pixar Animation Studios as an art director on films like Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, and Monsters University.

Originally from Japan, Daisuke “Dice” Tsutsumi is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Dice has worked as an artist at Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age, Robots, and Horton Hears a Who! and as an art director at Pixar on Toy Story 3 and Monsters University. Along the way, Dice spearheaded charity projects like the Totoro Forest Project and Sketchtravel.

Together, Kondo and Tstutsumi directed the 2015 Oscar-nominated short The Dam Keeper and then founded their own studio, Tonko House, in Berkeley, California.

image of Robert Kondoo
© 2015 by Tonko House Inc. Photo by Zen Miyake
image of Dice Tsutsumio
© 2015 by Tonko House Inc. Photo by Zen Miyake

Author Film Web Site

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