Lonely new boy befriends village outcast and finds enlightenment: commonplace juvenile circumstances told with some imagination. Ten-year-old Timothy moves reluctantly from London to a small village, then is bullied by three brothers and ignored by everyone else. Warned to stay away from Bob the Snailman, he nonetheless finds a friend in the man, not crazy at all, who keeps snails as a hobby and weaves for a living. Timothy likes Bob's dog Crabby and discovers that the snails have distinct identities too. But when Crabby is mistakenly blamed for some mischief nearby, Bob's loom is smashed and his snail collection destroyed. Timothy could turn bitter but the Snailman, unconventional throughout, says the real troublemaker should be ""pitied more'n punished."" Timothy learns his lesson, and you can guess what he brings Bob as a present: ""the biggest snail that ever was."" A neat wind-up but overall too remote for American children.