I would often ask friends if they had read Miss Osborne-the-Mop (1969) by Wilson Gage a.k.a Mary Q Steele (thanks for the heads up Tam). Many would scoff at the title or mockingly gaze at the cover picture as being juvenile. Not one to judge books by their covers (well most of the times), I thought otherwise. I quite like the cover thank you very much. Miss Osborne-the-Mop is a story of how misfit children come into their own:
"Jody and Dill took a dim view of having to spend a whole summer vacation with each other-until the day they stumbled onto Jody's unexpected magical powers...When Jody brings a dust mop to life, it refuses to go back to the closet...Wacky and wonderful magic. "Jody, the shy heroine overcomes her issues with confidence and weight and discovers hidden talents. She soon becomes fast friends with her initially distant cousin Dill and a certain Mop named Miss Osborne. By the end of the story, Jody is a heroine transformed, glowing in the strength and beauty that were hers to uncover. In my recollection, the depictions of food are mouth watering. Is there anything better than reading a well depicted plate of food?
Miss Osborne has a very special place in my childhood indeed.
Note: This lovely book has a devoted following of fans who have carried the story with them decades over. The comment thread below is worth a read!