The Official Pokémon Handbook

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The Official Pokémon Handbook
ISBN: 0439103975
Published: July 1999
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Maria S. Barbo

The Official Pokémon Handbook by Maria S. Barbo (ISBN 0439103975) is a handbook that was published by Scholastic in July 1999, advertised as "your complete companion to all 150 Pokémon characters!" to serve as a rudimentary, paper version of a Pokédex. Despite this, and like many printed Pokémon books, it has multiple errors and misprints. It contains an entry for each of the original 150 Generation I Pokémon. A Deluxe Collector's Edition was published later with entries for Mew and Togepi.


The entries for each Pokémon are structured in an easy-to-read page setup. Each Pokémon has either an entire page to itself, or shares a page with another member of its evolutionary family.

Each entry is topped with a large box containing the Pokémon's name and National Pokédex number. The color of the box reflects the featured Pokémon's elemental type.

Stock artwork of each Pokémon is the main focus of its entry page. Underneath the picture is a short description about the Pokémon, styled in a way that is similar to a Pokédex entry. Occasionally, a page will also contain a "Pokédex Pick", which is additional information about the Pokémon, often an anecdote about the Pokémon's appearance in the anime.

The sidebar of each entry contains the following stats:

  • Pronunciation
  • Element
  • Type
  • Height (in inches)
  • Weight (in pounds)
  • Techniques (moves the Pokémon will already know)
  • Other Techniques (moves the Pokémon will learn as it levels up)
  • Good Against (lists what type advantages it has over other Pokémon)
  • Bad Against (type disadvantages against other Pokémon)
  • Evolution (Normal, Stone, Trade, or None)
  • Evolves at Level: __

Levels are not given for when Pokémon will learn techniques, although they are listed in the order in which they are learned. Moves learnable by TMs are not listed.

At the very bottom of the entry there are evolution chains to show what the Pokémon evolves into or evolved from. Pokémon that do not evolve or have not yet been revealed to evolve do not show an evolution chain.

Other content

At the beginning of the book there is an introductory chapter titled "A Word From Professor Oak". The chapter describes the premise of the handbook and of the Pokémon world in general (this information is largely influenced by anime canon). It also contains a preface called The Pokémon Journey, an illustrated map of the Kanto region, and another preface, Battle Basics, as well as a How to use this book diagram.

At the end of the book, there is a list of Top 10 Ways to Care for your Pokémon, some FAQs, and a checklist of all the Generation I Pokémon. The Deluxe Collector's Edition also has some more information on different characters from the anime.


  • The back cover asks "Did you know that the swirls on Poliwhirl's stomach changes direction when it evolves into Poliwag?" While the change of direction is correct, Poliwag evolves into Poliwhirl, not the other way around.
  • The entry for Venusaur lists its element as Grass/Poison, and then also lists its element as "Seed". This is a misprint, as while Grass/Poison is its elemental type, "seed" refers to its species, not its element.
  • In Beedrill's entry, Psychic is misspelled as "Pychic".
  • In Lapras's entry, its lower jaw is colored blue as opposed to the white in its official artwork.
  • In the Deluxe Collector's Edition, Sabrina's profile states that "a very goofy Gengar taught her to smile." In fact, in the anime, it was a Haunter who did this.
  • Also, in Ash's bio for the Deluxe Collector's Edition, the list of Pokémon that Ash owns has Pidgeot and Lapras, despite the fact that by the time Lapras was caught by Ash, Pidgeot had already left the team, and should therefore have been on the list with the other Pokémon he used to own.
  • The moves Flamethrower and Thunderbolt are omitted from the original book.
  • In Lickitung's entry, it states that it will confuse is opponent with its Wrap technique and then attack a maximum of five times with its Supersonic, instead of the other way around.
  • Pikachu's entry states that its species as a whole has a natural dislike for being held inside Poké Balls. This, however, only applies to Ash's Pikachu.
  • Koffing's page says that James said Koffing "smells like old sneakers soaked in stinkbug juice mixed with some rotten eggs and dead fish with just a touch of skunk fumes!", but when he said this in EP026, he was referring to the scent of Gloom.
  • Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan's entries state that they do not evolve, yet both contain an evolution chain graphic suggesting that the former evolves into the latter.

In other languages

  • Polish: Wielka księga Pokémon. Złap je wszystkie!


Project Merchandise logo.png This book article is part of Project Merchandise, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on all Pokémon toys, dolls, books, and collectible merchandise.