The Official Pokémon Handbook

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Due to technical limitations, The Official Pokémon Handbook #2 and The Official Pokémon Handbook #3 direct here. For pages about those books, see The Official Pokémon Handbook 2 and The Official Pokémon Handbook 3.
The Official Pokémon Handbook
The Official Pokémon Handbook second edition cover.png
ISBN: 0439103975
Pages: 144 (original)
160 (deluxe)
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 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 individual entries for Mew and Togepi.


Edition Country Company Date ISBN
First Edition by Scholastic First
United States Scholastic July 1999 ISBN 0439103975
Deluxe Edition by Scholastic Deluxe
United States Scholastic November 1999 ISBN 0439154049
Prototype Edition by Scholastic Prototype
United States Scholastic Unknown ISBN Unknown


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.


First 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 151 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!




  • Venusaur's entry lists its "element" as Grass/Poison, but also lists its element as "Seed", which should refer to category, not its type.
  • In Beedrill's entry, Psychic is misspelled "Pychic".
  • Pikachu's entry states that the whole species naturally dislikes being held inside Poké Balls, but this should refer only to Ash's Pikachu.
  • Raichu's entry lists its "evolution" as normal despite requiring a Thunder Stone. In the book, "normal" evolutions occur from leveling up.
  • Meowth's entry says it is the only species that can talk to humans, but only one known Meowth can do so and only because he taught himself. Furthermore, many other Pokémon are capable of speech, telepathically or otherwise.
  • Lickitung's entry mistakes the effects of Wrap with Supersonic and vice versa.
  • 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 he was referring to Gloom in the episode Pokémon Scent-sation!.
  • 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.
  • On Hitmonchan's page, its right arm is the same color as its "clothes."
  • Mew's page says "Techniques: NONE" even though it Learns Pound at level 1, nor is Pound listed in Mew's other techniques.
  • The Gym Leader section mistakes Misty as Celadon City's Gym leader and Erika as Cerulean City's.
  • 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 Ash caught Lapras, Pidgeot had already left the team and should therefore have been on the list of the other Pokémon he used to own.
  • In the Deluxe Collector's Edition, Sabrina's profile states that "a very goofy Gengar taught her to smile" instead of Haunter.
  • The moves Flamethrower and Thunderbolt do not appear in the first edition.
  • In the Deluxe Collector's Edition, the index lists Togepi on page 133, but it is actually on page 155.
  • The back cover asks "Did you know that the swirls on Poliwhirl's stomach changes direction when it evolves into Poliwag?" It is actually the opposite.
  • 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. However, this may be referring collectively to Jessie and James.

In other languages

Language Title
Croatia Flag.png Croatian Službeni Pokémon Priručnik
The Czech Republic Flag.png Czech Oficiální Pokémon příručka
Canada Flag.png Canadian French Le Guide officiel de Pokémon
Germany Flag.png German Das offizielle Pokémon Handbuch
Italy Flag.png Italian Il grande libro ufficiale dei Pokémon
Poland Flag.png Polish Wielka księga Pokémon. Złap je wszystkie!
Brazil Flag.png Brazilian Portuguese Manual Oficial do Pokémon
Russia Flag.png Russian Справочник чемпиона покемонов
Slovakia Flag.png Slovak Oficiálna Pokémon príručka
Sweden Flag.png Swedish Den officiella Pokémon-Handboken

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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.