From The Art of Michael Whelan:
"I couldn't wait to begin the artwork for Robert Silverberg's The New Springtime because the novel was a sequel to a book that I had really enjoyed. In fact, I did a fair amount of the preliminary sketching on the bus returning home from my meeting with the pubblisher in New York City. For a while I cast ideas, but when I hit upon the use of a tree in the background as a symbol for evolution, I knew I had my image. Because of my enthusiasm for the book, I desperately wanted to avoid creating a cover that looked like a Planet of the Apes redux, so I gave thought to not showing the faces of any of the apelike creatures on the cover. But in the novel Silverberg made them so real that I felt that it was essential to zoom in on the two most important personalities and bring them to life on the cover."