This quaint, unpretentious tale of Pippin -- ""part puppet and part real boy"" who runs away from the show ""to try his luck at being a real boy"" -- probably works better when performed in Holland as a puppet show -- its original form. True, Heymans' color-shaded fine line drawings have a naive delicacy and a fresh air feel that contrasts with the depiction of the characters as white-faced downs, but the more naive telling (at least in English) is sometimes just awkward, and the rambling narrative never adds up to a satisfactory story. Pippin's first encounter is with robber Grumblecroak to whom he becomes an inept apprentice; later he steals a boat on his own and makes a good living ferrying people and supplies until Grumblecroak's men steal his cargo of butter. Clever Pippin gets it back though by taking the robber's big baby as hostage, and by the time the deal is concluded ""they had all become great friends."" Presumably the feelings of the boat's original owner would be less cozy, but we're left with that particular question unresolved.