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The Official Pokemon Handbook Paperback – August 1, 1999
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Zen masters never said, "You must learn as much as you can about your Pokémon," but Professor Oak certainly did. The grand teacher of Pokémon introduces this handy book about the Japanese craze that took over America in the form of a video game, trading cards, and a popular TV show. The handbook--written as if the young reader were a Pokémon trainer like Ash, Misty, and Brock--teaches kids which cards are the best to win a game and illuminates the stories behind the TV show. Geared to young readers, this engaging, colorful book is not for the Pokémon expert who has copious spreadsheets of statistics. You'll find fun facts about each Pokémon (Charmander is two feet tall and its element is fire, in case you didn't know), a clear guide to the evolution of certain characters, and a helpful pronunciation guide (great for parents). The book could have used a pictorial index of all 150 characters, but that won't stop fans from wearing out this handbook during their adventures as a Pokémon trainer. --Doug Thomas
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The Pokemon are listed in numerical order, and each Pokemon has the following information included in its listing: a pronunciation of its name, its element, its height, its weight, its main techniques, other techniques it can use, what element or elements the Pokemon is good against, what element or elements that Pokemon is weak against, the type of evolution it is, and what level it evolves at. Each Pokemon also has a paragraph write-up to explain it. Some of the Pokemon also have a "Pokedex Pick," which provides a piece of trivia about that particular Pokemon. The following Pokemon have a "Pokedex Pick": Bulbasaur, Charmeleon, Charizard, Blastoise, Caterpie, Butterfree, Ekans, Pikachu, Raichu, Sandslash, Female Nidoran, Nidorino, Clefairy, Meowth, Persian, Psyduck, Golduck, Poliwag, Tentacool, Ponyta, Muk, Haunter, Gengar, Onix, Krabby, Exeggcute, Hitmonlee, Lickitung, Koffing, Chansey, Tangela, Starmie, Mr. Mime, Electabuzz, Pinsir, Lapras, Aerodactyl, Articuno, and Moltres.
There is a list of the top ten ways to care about your Pokemon, as well as some frequently asked questions. "Secrets of the Gym Leaders" features write-ups on Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, Sabrina, Koga, Blaine, and Giovanni. The next section features the four Elite trainers of the Indigo Plateau: Lorelei, Bruno, Agatha, and Lance. This is followed by trainer trivia about Ash Ketchum, Gary Oak, Jessie, James, Professor Oak, Nurse Joy, and Officer Jenny. There is also a sneak preview of Togepi, and a checklist of all the Pokemon in the book. The index in the back lists the Pokemon in alphabetical order, and what page each Pokemon appears on. The book also comes with a poster of all the Pokemon featured in the book.
From the design of the book, as well as the way the book is written, it's obvious that children are the intended audience for the book. However, this book is chock full of valuable information, so adults shouldn't shy away from The Official Pokemon Handbook. I would recommend this book to Pokemon fans and collectors, both young and old.
If you are like me and remember the good ole' days of Pokemon Yellow, Red, and Blue, then this is the perfect gift to reminisce about a time now past. Or if you would just like to all-around know more about the little guys that started this all, this is the all-you-need-to-know guide to do just that. I love that there are still copies of this floating around and hope that you decide to get this, because I know that you will love it as much as I did/still do.