SIOUX CITY, IA – Cleo Franklin, Morningside alumnus and M-Club Hall of Fame inductee, is releasing his third book and first children’s book, titled “What do you see when you look at me?”

“This is an inspiring book about possibilities and how imagination can open doors of opportunity and allows parents and children to explore the unlimited opportunities that the world offers to our children,” said Franklin. “The illustrations in the book ignite the imagination and dreams our children have for their futures.”

“What do you see when you look at me?” is a read-along book for children ages three to seven. This book was written in collaboration with his son, Michael J. Franklin. Franklin says the book was inspired by Michael and his battle with being accepted as someone with high-functioning Aspergers. The story of “What do you see when you look at me?” captures the idea of looking beneath the surface to understand people and encourage kids to be what they want to be.cleo franklin photo may 2020 websiteCleo Franklin, author of “Coffee with Cleo”, “Lessons from our Mothers and Fathers”, and “What do you see when you look at me?”

“When Michael was a child, people would judge him from what they observed on the surface, and did not see deep inside of him this wonderful, creative and talented ambitious young man with a world of unlimited options he aspired to be and would eventually become,” said Franklin. “So often in life, we are limited by only what we see. However, we are more than what is on the surface, and our children are the perfect examples of the depth of who we are and who we will become.”

Franklin, who also serves on the Board of Directors for Morningside University, is donating 10% of the profits from the sales of his new book to Morningside’s Franklin Leadership Foundation. Learn more here.

“Cleo has a natural talent for sharing stories rooted in his own experiences that are inspiring and engaging. This new book is another great example of that, conceived from the relationship Cleo has with his son and encouraging children to never underestimate their potential,” said Dr. Albert Mosley, president of Morningside University. “We are proud that Cleo  is a Morningside alumnus and incredibly grateful for his continued investments of time, talent, and treasure to benefit our campus community and beyond.”

Michael franklin bookMichael J. Franklin co-authored “What do you see when you look at me?” with his father Cleo.Franklin’s two prior books, “Coffee with Cleo” and “Lessons from our Mothers and Fathers” are books on leadership and life lessons. “What do you see when you look at me?” is available for pre-order purchases on or on Lulu. Learn more about both of Franklin’s prior books at

About the Authors

Cleophus (Cleo) P. Franklin Jr. graduated from Morningside University in 1981. He is the founder of the Morningside University Franklin Leadership Foundation and a member of the Morningside University Board of Directors. Franklin is a retired award-winning agriculture global business executive. He is now a  Houston-based entrepreneur and a University of Houston-Downtown Adjunct Professor. He is also the author of two leadership and professional development books Coffee with Cleo and Lessons from our Mothers and Fathers. He is also the founder of Franklin Strategic Solutions and received his MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Kenan Flager Business School. Franklin is a passionate supporter of preparing the next generation to become future inspirational leaders, and you can find out more at

Michael J. Franklin is a Houston-based voice-over and theater actor who is passionate about utilizing his talents to bring characters to life from the stage, theater, radio, YouTube, or any platform that allows him to create positive experiences for his audience. Michael’s voice is his superpower, as his bass-baritone resonates deeply and immediately grabs your attention. He graduated from Lone Star Community College and enjoyed helping others achieve their dreams and aspirations. You can contact and find out more about Michael at

Franklin Leadership Foundation