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Let the Harry Potter guessing game begin!

We don't know what happens in the book yet, but now we can start to judge it by its cover. Artist Mary GrandPre's illustration for the American edition of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was released last week. It is the sixth (and next to last) book in J.K. Rowling's enormously popular series about a young wizard. The book will be released July 16.

Ms. GrandPre of Sarasota, Fla., has drawn the covers and the small black-and-white illustrations since Book 1. So she's drawn Harry Potter growing up from a boy of 11 to a young man of 16.

"I feel like I'm his mom," she told the Associated Press. "I comb his hair or I mess it up, I make sure he looks good before he goes out the door."

GrandPre, who has been working as an artist for 25 years, had no idea what she was getting into when she first got the call from Scholastic, Rowling's American publisher, to illustrate "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." She asked to read it beforehand, to see if it was a good fit. (She's one of the few people to have read Book 6 already! But don't bother asking her about it. Her lips are sealed.)

She uses a highlighter to pick out descriptions in the text. Next come the sketches. "I go through a lot of tracing paper," she said. "I redraw and redraw." The final art is done in pastels.

GrandPre is careful not to create anything too obvious. She wants to drop hints, not reveal what happens. "I kind of tempt the reader to keep moving on through the book," she says.(AP)

Peter Pan and Captain Hook set for a rematch

Speaking of books, children's author Geraldine McCaughrean has been chosen to write the official sequel to J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan." The new work, "Captain Pan," will feature the original characters. McCaughrean was chosen by the London hospital that holds the copyright to the original work.


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