Meet the Taradiddle Judges!

Jimbo Jacobs

In this picture, Taradiddle Judge Jimbo Jacobs poses with his rescue dog, Lyra, in his bookstore, the Book Deal.
Jimbo is pictured here with his dog, Lyra, among the book racks at the Book Deal

Bookstore owner and social media manager of The Book Deal, Jimbo Jacobs has been selling books for more than 10 years and reading them for even longer. Growing up, Jimbo always had his nose stuck in a book and would often be found reading past his bedtime with a flashlight under the covers. Some of his favorite authors were Eoin Colfer, Erin Hunter, and Phillip Pullman.

     These days, Jimbo has a goal of reading 50 books per year from diverse genres, although Science Fiction and Fantasy still remains his favorite genre. A long time lover of animals (and especially dogs), Jimbo recently adopted a Siberian Husky/American Bulldog mix and named her “Lyra” after the main character in the “His Dark Materials” series.

     Often surrounded by books at the bookstore and dogs at the dog park, one of Jimbo’s favorite quotes is “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx.

Julie Dahms

Hi! My name is Julie Dahms and I work at the Herzfeld Foundation in Milwaukee. The Herzfeld Foundation awards grants to Milwaukee nonprofit organizations working in the arts, education, and civic areas. Before working at the Foundation, I practiced law. I have always loved writing creatively! I moved to the US when I was six and English was my third language. I still remember watching Sesame Street, Captain Kangaroo, and going to my English tutor’s house every week to learn the language! My favorite authors became Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary, and I grew to love my creative writing class in high school – adding humor and some outrageous descriptiveness to your writing makes it so much more fun; you can watch the story grow and blossom while you get lost in it! Plus, it’s fun for others to read. 

One of the most fun high school writing assignments I had involved doing a restaurant review with my best friend – we ended up getting some food poisoning, which made for a very interesting review. I have always loved animals too, and I think that’s why Beverly Cleary’s books were great to read – Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse and so on – getting into the mind of an animal or pet can be very interesting. Just imagine what they are thinking about the world and what they do when we aren’t watching!  My best tip to anyone starting their reading and writing journey is to find books that you love to read, that you get lost in. If you start a book and aren’t crazy about it, find another one. For writing, I absolutely encourage you to try a rainbow of colored pens and some paper that you love! It makes the writing feel even more like art!  

Good luck and happy writing, I can’t wait to read the stories.

Taradiddle Judge Julie Dahms is pictured with her two dogs, Stella and Penny.
Julie is pictured here with her two dogs, Stella and Penny

Anna Kelton, DVM

Taradiddle Judge Dr. Anna Kelton is pictured here with one of her lucky feline patients.
Dr. Kelton is pictured here with one of her lucky feline patients

Anna Kelton is a feline-specific veterinarian in Madison, Wisconsin.  She practices at Cat Care Clinic and is madly in love with all of her patients.  On the job, Dr. Kelton especially enjoys imaging, endocrinology, geriatric care, and participating in clinical trials.  When not tending to the health needs of Madison’s felines, you can find Anna reading, gardening, reading, cooking, or reading.  Avi, Roald Dahl, L. Frank Baum, and J.K. Rowling were her favorite authors growing up.  She felt most excited to write in her poetry and foreign language classes in school, and still greatly admires the creativity it takes to wield a pencil.  Though veering more toward the sciences and away from the creative arts as time passed, she still tries to incorporate playfulness and her “imaginoscope” into each day.  Working with non-English-speaking patients requires her to listen closely to all the other cues, and she does her best to translate.  She is looking forward to reading many stories and hearing others’ visions of the universe around them.  Write on!