Meet the Malones by Lenora Mattingly Weber
The introductory book of the Beany Malone series. Mary Fred spends the fifteen dollars that is intended for a new formal to buy her beloved Mr. Chips, a lame horse. Elizabeth's husband, Don, is sent overseas, and a weak and wan Elizabeth arrives at the Malones' with her two-week-old son, Martie. When Mr. Malone is called away on business for the Call, the children's step-grandmother, Nonna, arrives to "run" the household and shower them with gifts. It is quickly evident that Nonna has earned her title as "the iron hand in the velvet glove." When Nonna provides Mary Fred expensive new clothes and relieves her of her household responsibilities, will Mary Fred be able to manage her confused priorities?