The Official Pokémon Handbook

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The Official Pokémon Handbook
ISBN: 0439103975
Published: July 1999
Publisher: Scholastic logo.png
Author: Maria S. Barbo
Preceded By: None
Succeeded By: The Official Pokémon Handbook 2

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. Its first two versions contain entries for each of the original 150 Generation I Pokémon. The Deluxe Collector's Edition, published on November 1, 1999, features extra content and entries for Mew and Togepi.


The entries for the 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 type.

Stock artwork of each Pokémon is the main focus of its entry page. Underneath the picture is a short description about the Pokémon 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 that can be learned from TMs are not listed.

At the very bottom of the entry there are evolution chains to show the Pokémon's evolutionary family. Pokémon that do not evolve or have not yet been revealed to evolve do not show an evolution chain.

Other content

The book has an introductory chapter titled "A Word From Professor Oak". The chapter describes the premise of the handbook and 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, Secrets of the Gym Leaders, Meet the Elite Four, some FAQs, information about Togepi, a sneak peek of Generation II Pokémon, and a checklist for catching all the Generation I Pokémon and Togepi. The Deluxe Collector's Edition also has information on characters from the anime.


Second edition

It's the video game, TV cartoon, and collectible toys that have the whole world going Pokémon crazy. If you're caught up in the whole Pokémon phenomenon, you gotta, gotta, gotta get the inside guide to each and every one of these megapopular pocket pals.

  • THEY'RE ALL HERE!—From Pikachu to Pidgeotto, Squirtle to Snorlax, Charmander to Caterpie.
  • COMPLETE WITH EVERY STAT—Who they'll blow away in battle, their techniques, evolutionary style, and more.
  • SECRET FACTS—Did you know that the swirl on Poliwag's stomach changes direction when it evolves into Poliwhirl? Lots more inside info!
  • TRAINING TIPS—let a weaker Pokémon start a battle and then switch to another before it gets hurt. This is a quick way to build up a Pokémon's experience level.

It's everything you need to become the coolest Pokémon trainer, or the world's greatest Pokémon master!

Deluxe Collector's Edition

If you want to be a Pokémon trainer, you gotta get the DELUXE Collector's guide to all megapopular pocket pals, plus Togepi. Check out what's inside!

  • NEW POKÉMON! The baby Togepi and the super-rare, super-powerful Mew.
  • BONUS POKÉMON POSTER! Starring all 151 Pokémon, plus Togepi.
  • How to join the POKÉMON LEAGUE.
  • The scoop on all eight GYM LEADERS.
  • All you ever wanted to know about POKÉMON TRAINERS Ash, Misty, Brock, Team Rocket, and more!



  • In Beedrill's entry, Psychic is misspelled as "Pychic".
  • In the first edition and early printings of the second, 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. Later printings and the Deluxe Collector's Edition fix this.
  • Koffing's page notes 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 Pokémon Scent-sation!, he was referring to the scent of Gloom.
  • In Lapras's entry, its lower jaw is colored blue instead of cream.
  • In Lickitung's entry, it states that it will confuse its 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.
  • 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 type, "seed" refers to its species, not its type.
  • Meowth's entry mentioned how it's the only species that can speak a human language. Though this applies for Team Rocket's Meowth, not the species as a whole, many other species are capable, using telepathy or otherwise.
  • In the Deluxe Collector's Edition, it says in the index that page 133 has information about Togepi but it is, in fact, on page 155.
  • In the Deluxe Collector's Edition, Ash's profile lists both Pidgeot and Lapras as being in his party, 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 Gym Leader section incorrectly identifies Misty as Celadon City's Gym leader and Erika as Cerulean City's Gym leader when it should be the other way around.
  • 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.
  • The moves Flamethrower and Thunderbolt do not appear in the first version of the book.
  • The back cover asks "Did you know that the swirls on Poliwhirl's stomach changes direction when it evolves into Poliwag?" Poliwag actually evolves into Poliwhirl, not from it.
  • On the back of the Deluxe Collector's Edition, it says All you ever wanted to know about Pokémon Trainers Ash, Misty, Brock, Team Rocket, and more! However, Team Rocket is a villainous team, not a Pokémon Trainer.

In other languages

Language Title
Canada Flag.png Canadian French Le Guide officiel de Pokémon
Poland Flag.png Polish Wielka księga Pokémon. Złap je wszystkie!


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