I'm trying to identify a book I used to read as a child (90s-00s) that I just barely remember. It was for young children, and I believe each page had a sentence or two along with an illustration. It might have even been part of some kind of children's anthology. I don't know if it was published around the time I was a child, or before. It seems very likely that it was published sometime between 1990 and 2000.

It's driving me crazy, and I really want to remember what it was called!

I think the main character was an animal of some kind, likely a bear, a dog, or a hippopotamus.

In the story, the character realizes he has no food in his kitchen, so he drives up a hill in his car (I think it was red?) to the grocery store. There, he buys lots of food and puts it in his car.

Then, I think the food weighed down his car too much for him to drive it, so he begins to eat some of the food so that he can drive the car. He ends up eating all of the food by the time he gets home. I distinctly remember in one of the illustrations he's drinking a bottle of ketchup with a straw.

I think the book ended with him back where he began, in his kitchen realizing he has no food (because he ate it all on the way home).

Can anyone identify this story?

  • 1
    Could it have been a Noddy story? Noddy's not an animal, but he has a car, and I think I vaguely remember a story like this about him (but can't find it now).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 9:44
  • @Randal'Thor oh, nice suggestion! I wouldn't totally rule it out, but that name doesn't quite ring a bell for me. For some reason my very vague memory of this book contains an animal main character, although I could be mis-remembering.
    – anwen
    Commented Oct 2, 2017 at 11:40
  • 1
    I have a vague memory of it being a hippopotamus, but that might be jsut because they're known to have large appetites. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 11:36
  • @SeanDuggan now that you mention it, that seems like a very likely animal. I'll modify the question to include hippopotamus.
    – anwen
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


You're looking for Dragon Gets By (by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey) in which a cute chubby dragon does everything backwards. It's from 1991.

In this particular segment, he sees his kitchen is out of food and goes shopping. He drives up a hill to the store, but he ends up buying too many groceries and they can't all fit in his car. His solution is to eat them all (which indeed includes drinking a bottle of catsup with a straw), but then he can't fit in his car!

And yes, the dragon does look a bit like a hippo or a rhino. The book can currently be viewed on Youtube here and the segment is around 2:25.

  • 1
    Hey Walt, welcome to Literature! Good to see you sharing those IDing skills on yet another site :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 8:51
  • @Randal'Thor Thanks for the welcome. :) Probably a brief & rare visit, though!
    – Walt
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 9:23

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