Our Story

Not too long ago, when our daughter had just turned 2, she would only speak in English. This was a problem – as my wife is a native Spanish speaker, and we had decided on raising her to be bilingual. We just figured – we both speak Spanish, her maternal grandparents speak Spanish – of course she will be bilingual. I found out that it does not work that way. It doesn’t just “happen” – the truth is, she was not getting real immersion; she was surrounded by English input, and we accepted her replying back to us in English. We were determined to give our child the gift of complete fluency; not just “hoping that she picked it up.” I set myself on a path of discovery, research, testing, and everything in between. Not only did I learn a great deal about raising a bilingual child, but I learned that an important piece of the puzzle was missing.

Books. I have always known that books make a dramatic difference in a child’s academic and total-life success. I looked for a way to integrate books into my daughter’s bilingual plan; but could not find a book-program which also helped me to teach her (at the time I was still in the stages of mastering Spanish). As a lifelong writer, and children’s educator, I wanted to create something – not just for my daughter, but for all children who have the potential to become bilingual (or multilingual) and achieve greatness in their lives.

With a purposeful-mission dear to my heart; I gathered a team of experts, friends, and educators. BookLingual was created to fill a void in most parents’ bilingual action plans (if they even have one). Many parents just buy a software program, a couple of books, get some animated DVDs, hire a tutor, and hope their children will become fluent. The truth is, these parents have the best intentions in the world; but are missing the element of reading, and books. BookLingual is based on scientific approaches; concepts proven to ingrain, immerse, and improve on not just language acquisition; but reading comprehension. The (not-so-big) secret is that books are the most powerful tool for learning anything – along with a real-live teacher. BookLingual was born with the concept that any parent can help their child learn a language – whether they already know it, or not.

Wishing your family wonderful success,

Michael Hodge

Founder / Author

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Michael Hodge – Founder/Author

Michael Hodge has an interesting background. He grew up practicing martial arts and excelling in writing as a child. At age 14 he began to teach martial arts to kids; and did so for 8 years – becoming a nationally recognized children’s martial arts instructors. Michael is also an active elementary school public speaker; having presented to more than 50,000 students in the last five years – about goal setting, bilingualism, and creative authorship.

By working with hundreds of Hispanic families at his Texas-based martial arts academy, he was able to gain a true perspective on how bilingual education impacts children’s lives. This also led him to learning Spanish as an adult, which he says, “is much more challenging than for children.” Before creating BookLingual, he worked and studied alongside bilingual and dual language teachers in his area to understand the academic component to his proposed learning framework, and gain writing inspiration from the children. His life’s work is with children, designing purposeful curriculum, and helping others reach their goals.

Raquel Hodge – Co-Founder/Curriculum Architect & Linguistic Advisor

Raquel was born to immigrant parents who hail from Mexico and El Salvador. A native to Spanish, she was not given the opportunity to learn English until age 10. By growing up in a disadvantaged environment, she set goals of high achievement. An academic standout – at age 21 she graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Texas with an MBA in Strategic Management. After having children, she caught the teaching bug, and completed the Texas teaching certification program. She has taught 2nd grade bilingual and is currently a 3rd grade teacher. Naturally, she also adds her linguistic expertise to the BookLingual program, as she speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Goran Pesic – Conceptual Artist

Goran Pesic is an illustrator and conceptual artist from Belgrade, Serbia. He began working freelance after finishing Higher School of Fine Arts, and over the course of years he worked on various projects from children’s and comic books to storyboards for commercials and independent movies. His style is modern and eye-catching with distinctive and vibrant colors, full of life and positive energy. Always in trend, and constantly learning new skills, Goran is striving for perfection with every stroke of his brush.

Joelle Felyce Geisler – Artist

Joelle Felyce Geisler is an artist and illustrator living in beautiful New England with her husband and several critters. After studying Literature and Art at Boston College and NYU, she began working in the non-profit sector, often for organizations with a focus on education or the arts. She has taught art to children of all ages in diverse settings, ranging from a rural Nicaraguan schoolhouse to a French-immersion preschool. Working with students has helped to inspire her whimsical style and reinforced her belief that everyone should be given the opportunity to be hands-on and creative. You can learn more about Joelle at: www.joellefelyce.com.

Jeanette Baker – Illustrator

Jeanette Baker is an International Designer and Illustrator, currently residing in Colorado. Having received numerous awards and an art scholarship, Jeanette pursued a career in art, leading her where she is today. Jeanette has extensive skills and experience ranging from traditional pen and paper to digital work. She has helped numerous Authors bring their stories to life. Her level of dedication to creativity and detail is second to none. If you dream it, she can create it!

Addie Helms – English Language Advisor

Addie Helms is currently a principal, currently residing in Abilene, Texas. She earned a MA in English at Sul Ross State University. She instructed Secondary English throughout various public schools for over 12 years; in all grades ranging from 6th-12th. She brings a very meticulous and studious approach to the BookLingual team; examining and advising the accuracy of the English language content.

Alejandrina Salgado – Spanish Language Advisor

Alejandrina Salgado is a professional translator who resides in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She began her professional career as an English teacher for elementary students for which she took several teaching courses. With an excellent mastery of both languages, she decided to shift her career focus to full-time translating. She currently provides translation and interpreting services for individuals and small business in various industries.