Henny Hickathrift (not, thank God, a chicken, despite her name) skips out of her retirement home and takes a train to the beach. Luckily, or unrealistically, depending on your point of view, she does not end up either as a bag lady or sectioned, but is taken in by the Goods, a five-children family whose father is a dentist.
Henny is adopted, offering childcare and ironing in exchange for a roof over her head. As well as doing the household chores, she finds the time to defend the family home against burglars, have her teeth fixed, adopt a stray dog in her turn and generally present a model of human kindness which is extremely refreshing.
This really is a lovely story, though it should probably be kept away from the cynical 13-year-olds and upwards. It is to be especially recommended for children to listen to with their grannies on a long summer afternoon.