Romantic, often odd, musings on the lives of whales. Some lines are witty: ""They swim in places with beautiful names. Past Cape Farewell, they say good-bye""; others are precious, as when the babies ""gasp at the loveliness of living."" The isolated phrases float in the sweeping acrylic illustrations, done in the colors of the sea and sky and often abstract. They depict big shapes (different kinds of whales), surrounded with streaks and sponged smears of color, and have atmospheric breadth--the sense of enormous bodies moving silently underwater. Rylant (Dog Heaven, 1995, etc.) can be counted upon for lyrical phrasing and keen observation, but these philosophical thoughts seem far too subjective to have meaning for young readers.