1) Charlie's healing quickened, but still there were bad dreams and her appetite remained poor. She was what Norma Manders called "peckish."
2) "Norma, I wasn't laughin at you, and the child has got to get out sometime-"
"Don't you think I know that? I didn't say no, did I? That's just it! A growing child needs fresh air, exercise. Got to have those things if you're going to have any appetite, and she's-"
"Peckish, I know."
"Pale and peckish, that's right.
The only meaning of the word "peckish" I knew was the British "hungry" (Monty Python’s Cheese Shop starts with it). Here, it seems to mean the exact opposite.