It's a crazy idea. Don't even try it.

That's what Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPre{acute} says about creating a cover illustration for a book you haven't read. A professional illustrator is trying to capture the characters, the events, the mood of the book on its cover, which means she has to know the book really well.

She's right, of course. But it's a long time until June 21, when "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" finally reaches bookstores, so why not try something crazy while you wait?

Introducing The KidsPost Harry Potter Cover Contest.

Here's how it works:

1. Pretend you're J.K. Rowling. Imagine what will happen in the fifth volume of Harry Potter. (You don't need to go into too much detail. Remember, you're drawing the cover, not writing the book.)

2. Now, pretend you're Mary GrandPre{acute}. Choose images from your imagined book that would make for an exciting cover. You can get some tips by reading the interview with Mary GrandPre{acute}.

3. Start drawing. Make sure you use markers or other tools that are easy to see (avoid crayons and watercolors). On the back, put your name, age, address and phone number.

4. Add a brief explanation of what's going on in your picture (why, for example, Harry is battling an enormous cheeseburger).

5. Send your work to Harry Potter Cover, KidsPost, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St., NW, Washington DC, 20071. All entries are due by Saturday, March 15. We'll print some of the best illustrations on our page.