Below on the left, you can see the first sketch of Hope and Kornelius. In this sketch, Kornelius looks too much like a leprechaun, rather than the K'lepreecon that he is. I liked that Hope couldn't fully be seen, but the scroll she was reading in that sketch wasn't a good depiction of The H Book that she was in Hypatia Academy.
The second sketch is much closer to the final art. I wanted Hope to be sitting at a table looking down while she read. To illustrate the pose I wanted, I actually placed my four-year-old in that position and took a picture of her. Kornelius, even though he couldn't read, was looking at the book from on top of the table, showing moral support.
The main differences between the second and third sketches are only Hope's hair falling in her face and Kornelius standing up. Though all three covers are great, the third one showed the characters the way I envisioned them. Kornelius is such a fast and busy guy that it's hard for me to imagine him ever sitting down. Hope was so focused on The H Book that she wouldn't have noticed when her hair fell forward from looking down.
Once Hope and Kornelius were ready, the library in the back was added to the scene.
The amazing cover art was all done by Daniel Wolfsong.