This is fiction based on the life of Hans Christian Anderson, -- serious, moonstruck, yellow haired and stoop-shouldered, who wanted to be an actor. He is fourteen in this story of his adventures with the other Hanses, -- Hans Flode, who wanted to sail everywhere, and Hans Poppen, tough, inquisitive and cheerful. The publishers claim it to be ""the only modern novel for young people based on the youth of Anderson"". Perhaps so -- but the two biographies (Shoemaker's Son by Burnett and The Ugly Duchling by Proudfit) both seem to us more satisfactory as introductions to Andersen. Such sentences -- in the David book -- as ""his face lighted by an inner lamp as if the housewife of his mind had just placed it behind the windows of his eyes"" were particularly annoying.