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Question: Book from the 70s or earlier - group of children help a man, get objects that grant wishes

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Asked by vestigans on Mon 17, Apr 2017 03:10am :
I'm searching for a book that my mother read as a child (probably in the
early 1970s). 

She remembers a group of children (both girls and boys, not necessarily
siblings) helping out a man who in turn gives them magic orbs or balls that
grant wishes. The man could be injured, or in hiding, and they give him
food or help hide him. My mother says the kids at first aren't aware that
the orbs (or balls, eggs, etc.) grant them wishes; and one wish has to do
with seeing one of the children's dead father again.

I've already stumbled on Half Magic by Edward Eager (because of the clue
about the dead father), but it doesn't seem to involve orbs/balls or the
children helping someone in hiding. Whistle down the Wind by Mary Bell has
that, but nothing about wishes being granted.

Any hint would be appreciated!
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