Elephant and his (smaller) friends are playing together, but Elephant is struggling to keep up with the others. First, the friends try hide-and-seek. Elephant is too big, so he can’t hide easily. “Oh, no,” says Elephant, because he knows he’ll struggle. Next, they play leap frog, but Elephant is too heavy to enjoy that game. “Oh, no,” he repeats, but has a go anyway. Jump-rope is also a problem for Elephant, who is trying his very best to take part in all of the activities his friends suggest. But poor Elephant is just too large for the games the others have chosen. And hopscotch isn’t any better. Neither is tag. His friends are getting frustrated with Elephant. Finally, Elephant gets a chance to suggest his ideal game – a tug-of-war! Elephant is the best at this one, and beats all the others put together. Unlike the previous games, Elephant has found one he is good at, and it is his turn to celebrate a win, which is only fair. The friends all celebrate each other’s success on a podium at the end.
The illustrations in this book are lovely. They are very colourful, bright and beautifully done, giving the book a classic feel, reminding the reader of an old-time circus. The pictures are also very detailed, and hold lots of additional information about the story, which adds to the reading experience. The repetition of Elephant's phrase “Oh, no,” is bound to appeal to young children.
It is made very clear that Elephant doesn’t give up without trying each game – he really does enter into the spirit of things, and has a go, despite his reservations. Even when the games prove to be very hard for him and his friends begin to get cross, he tries his best.