A fairytale-like world, with a twist… Meet Pig, in “The Dam Keeper” by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi. Pig lives in Sunrise Valley: or rather, between it and the black fog that kills everything in sight. He is the dam keeper, which means that he has to keep the giant dam running that continuously blows away the poisonous mist. He has never been accepted in his town except by one animal, and is either ignored or bullied by the rest. But when disaster occurs, Pig has to unite with an unlikely friend and a bully to get back to their town before the time runs out.
This book is a story really touched me. Though sad and even creepy at parts, it just makes you understand how much the characters are overcoming when they still believe in hope. “The Dam Keeper” shows a journey worthy of Disney; turning a lifelong bully into a newfound friend and a loyal friend into someone who truly understands the struggles faced.The characters have a lot of depth, and the stereotype of cute talking animals is immediately shattered. Yes, they are drawn cute, but they have real emotion attached to them, and aren’t afraid to show sadness.
Both Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi worked with Pixar, and have experience with a lot of different animation work. Their pictures use dark colors to really portray the emotion felt in the book, by Pig and the support characters. This is a good book for ages 7 and up. It is funny and cute for relatively young kids, and adults will get a deeper meaning out of it as well. This would be a good holiday gift, because lots of people can enjoy it. People who like Disney’s “The Black Cauldron” and “Adventure Down Under” will be sure to love this hybrid novel/comic book.