The Dam – Levi Pinfold


The Dam

Author: Almond David
Illustrator: Levi Pinfold



When a great dam was built by the Kielder Water in Northumberland, the valley below slowly filled with water and the largest artificial lake in the UK was created. But just before this, when the villagers had been moved out, two musicians went back to the abandoned valley. They tore down the boards over the houses, stepped inside and started to play – for this would be the last time that music would be heard in this place. Combining themes of loss, hope and music The Dam pays homage to all musicians, showing the ancient and unstoppable power of creativity.

Atmospheric, sensual and dreamlike, this is a visual feast that expertly balances the melancholy of loss with a celebration of creativity and memory. Wreathed in mist, the early illustrations perfectly reflect the historical nature of the story and the fact that the valley is now inhabited only by ghosts.  Pinfold’s use of colour, light and shade is exceptional; his use of small cameo illustrations combined with sweeping double page landscapes create a strong sense of place, whilst reflecting the large and small of community life. Like the natural world itself, this is a beautiful book created from thousands of tiny details and strokes.


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