Homer is no ordinary talking turtle. Oh no, Homer is a literary, philosophical turtle and it is no wonder that the three Brown sisters, Lettice, Dulcibella, and Mouse determine to take him along when they visit Stratford with their Aunt Lobelia. En route, while stopping at a British hostel, the Brown children meet Hammet Gupworthy and his culturally ambitious parents. Despite Hammet's somewhat difficult personality he and Homer develop a great affinity and when Hammet, named after Shakespeare's son, gives a brilliant portrayal of Puck in a Stratford amateur performance, Homer plays an equally noteworthy role. Convinced that in Hammet lies real greatness, the Browns learn to overlook his peculiarities and accept him as a very special friend bound to them by the beautiful experiences they have shared on their tour and their mutual adoration of the turtle, Homer. Gently and maturely satirical, this unusual novel succeeds on several levels. It introduces the American to the cultural values of England and the English language; it movingly exposes the nature of the creative impulse; and it portrays a wonderful kind of madness which has as its basis that which is most wholesome and delightful in the British comic spirit.