Authors: Michele Bledsoe and Richard Bledsoe
Illustrator: Michele Bledsoe
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 978-1-4787-0362-4

Sleep is the secret kingdom
A castle built on the inside
Just follow the beautiful stairway
Which begins behind your shut eyes
Sleep is the hidden  palace
With limitless rooms to explore
The dream that you take along with you
Is the key that opens the door”
Michele and Richard Bledsoe write in their book, The Secret Kingdom.

This unnumbered thirty-six page hardbound is targeted as juvenile fiction, but adult readers also may enjoy the colorful artwork with rhyming poetry. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, the book would best be read to beginner readers based on some of the more complicated wording.

Including the introduction by Janice Weiss, this book uses no punctuation except for one comma and a few question marks, which makes it challenging for young readers to comprehend or promote proper reading rules.

In this collection of random poems that rhyme and are dedicated to bedtime or dreaming, Michele’s paintings are presented on every page. Using vivid colors, she incorporates animals, ribbons, leaves, and strings into her artwork that visualizes dreams to match the short two to six lines of wording.

Both illustrations and short sayings incorporate the mystery of dreaming but make little sense, similar to the topic. Here are some examples:

The sleepy moon
Finds a quiet room
Where she can dream
In shades of green


When youthful blackberries
Decide to get married
They look for a match

In a nice briar patch
And are happily wed
In a sharp thorny bed


We never know who might be listening in
When we address our invisible friends


Ever saved a dream for later?
You did yourself no favor
Have that dream right here and now
Or just as soon as time allows


With some peculiar aspects in the illustrations, there is a fat eyeless man with blue horns, a green monster, an asleep yellow bird who looks dead, half human faces, a dog’s head, and an animal with a fish in its mouth.

Meant to share the artist’s creations, the colorful pages draw in the readers’ eyes and slow them down. Deciphering the rhyme with the picture can be confusing, coinciding with how dreams are in real life.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

Follow Here To Purchase The Secret Kingdom