In a series of pictures without words a little girl encounters a stuffed elephant in a toy store window, two linked elephants on a circus billboard, another on the TV at home and another in the book she looks at before falling asleep. In a dream she rides the toy store elephant through a landscape populated with various fanciful examples of the species, but satisfaction (relief? resolution?) comes next morning when her parents take her to the zoo where she feeds a real elephant -- and acquires a red elephant balloon. Preschoolers will enjoy following the animal's mutations, and the book's three distinct moods (of elephant image, dream and reality) provide the narrative development.