For "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," Jim Dale needed voices for 96 characters. He relies on people he has met during his 70 years for inspiration. Here's how he matched the characters to people in his life.

Draco Malfoy: "His is the voice of a boy who has just stepped into what the dog left behind."

Dobby: "Thirty years ago I was on an elevator, standing in front of a very small man, and I heard this high voice say to me: 'Excuse me, sir, but would you mind getting your bum out of my face.' When I read the Dobby character I knew I would use that little man's voice."

Hagrid: "An old uncle of mine who was nearly a giant. He would pick me up and throw me in the air -- and I was 5 feet 10 inches tall at the time."

Hermione: "A girl I went to school with. She wasn't a girlfriend, really. We never even held hands. We were probably 11."

Severus Snape: "I had a master [teacher] like him once. Not a nice guy, not a nice guy at all."

Harry: "Harry is me."

To listen to Dale read from "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," go to www.washingtonpost.com/ kidspost.