THE DAM KEEPER by Robert  Kondo


World Without Darkness
From the "Dam Keeper" series, volume 2
Age Range: 7 - 11
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With only a few days to get back to Sunrise Valley before the next black fog, Pig and his friends undertake a desperate trek across the wastelands.

Short on storyline but long on encounters with strange residents met along the way, this sequel to The Dam Keeper takes Pig, Fox, Hippo, and Van (the last apparently a lizard but strongly resembling a Kermit the Frog puppet) from the teeming, smoggy streets of Frogtown through cities of beavers and moles, a meeting with a group of nomads led by a wolf, and finally a brush with a scary smoke monster. The art, done without inked lines in luminous, gracefully brushed colors, has a distinctive and superficially pretty look. However, forms and backdrops tend to be rendered as vague, indistinct blobs, often in dim lighting, and on some pages they are so squeezed into tiny panels that at times their nature, or any action that might be taking place, is hard to discern. This stylization is particularly noticeable in the animal cast, much of which is so cute and snub-nosed as to be unidentifiable without prompts in the dialogue. The influence of the Academy Award–nominated short film that inspired this spinoff remains in the cinematic storyboarding and visual humor—but readers who aren’t already cued into the plot, characters, and overall scenario will flounder.

Moves the story about an inch—handsome but inessential. (Graphic fantasy. 7-11)

Pub Date: July 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-62672-427-3
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: First Second
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2018


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