The story is about an arrogant ladybug who challenges another ladybug to a fight over some aphids but then decides he isn't large enough to be worth fighting. He then travels around the world and encounters a series of increasingly larger animals, challenging each to a fight but then declining and looking for a larger animal. Eventually, he encounters a blue whale, who slaps him with his tail and sends him flying back to where he started. He then decides to be nice and share the aphids with the fellow ladybug. The book is unusual in that the size of the page is not the same throughout the book, but increases with the animal size. Also, the blue whale's tail takes up a page in itself and turning it is meant to represent the slapping motion. The time of day is also shown at the side of each page.