Does your child talk about Pikachu, Evee or Snorlax? Do they debate the merits of Grass-type vs. Fire-type? They are probably discussing Pokémon! Pokémon are fictional creatures that come in all shapes and sizes. Each type has a unique set of skills and abilities. Pokémon has been around for more than 15 years. Starting as a video game, the Pokémon franchise quickly expanded to include animated TV shows, movies, books and a trading card game.

My son introduced me to Pokémon about 10 years ago when he encouraged me to watch the animated TV show. The story follows Ash Ketchum, a 10-year-old Pokémon trainer who dreams of becoming a Pokémon Master. In order to achieve this goal, Ash travels around the various regions catching as many Pokémon as possible along the way. As Ash catches new Pokémon, he builds a team that he uses to compete in friendly battles with other Pokémon trainers. In each episode, Ash meets new friends, catches new Pokémon, and enters competitions on his quest to become the very best Pokémon champion.

After seeing the TV show, my son quickly became engrossed by all things Pokémon. He read the guide books, collected trading cards, and played the video games. He learned to identify each Pokémon by its type, moves and evolutions. I found that learning about Pokémon was a great way for him to practice his memorization and reading skills and, while playing the card game, he also practiced a little math. Pokémon was a source of amusement for both of us for many years. Together we talked about Pokémon, created teams, and battled against each other in pretend games.

Recently, I thought it would be fun to encourage the next generation of Pokémon fans by starting a Pokémon club at the library. At a recent meeting, six boys aged 7-11 gathered together to trade cards, play games and talk about their favorite Pokémon. I was amazed by their ability to retrieve facts, decipher rules, and keep score. As I watched a riveting 3 on 3 battle, I realized Pokémon is still as engaging as ever!
If you would like to find out more about Pokémon, here are some fun materials that will get you started.

Pokémon Easy Readers and Chapter Books

Meet the Pokémon by Michael Teitelbaum.

Get to know the Pokémon, the people who train them, and their exciting world!

Pokémon: meet Ash by Michael Teitelbaum.

Meet Ash Ketchum, a 10 year-old boy from Pallet Town, his Pokémon and all of his friends.

Become a Pokémon Trainer by Michael Teitelbaum.

Learn what it takes to be a great Pokémon trainer!

Pokémon: I Choose You! by Tracey West.

With his brand-new Pokémon Pikachu, Ash Ketchum sets out on his journey to catch and train as many Pokémon as he can.

Pokémon: Island of the Giant Pokémon by Tracey West.

Story about what happens when Ash and Pikachu are stranded on an island filled with giant Pokémon.

Pokemon Guides

Pokémon: The Complete Pokémon Guide 1 , #001-245, Bulbasaur to Suicune  by Viz Kids, ed.

This official pocket guide to Pokémon contains information on more than 200 Pokémon including their vital stats, unique properties and evolution stages.

Pokémon: The Complete Pokémon Pocket Guide 2, #246-491 : Larvitar to Darkrai. by Viz Kids, ed.

Fans will love the official pocket guide to Pokémon. A guidebook contains information on more than 200 Pokémon, including their vital stats, unique properties and evolution stages.

Pokémon Visual Companion by Simcha Whitehill.

Find out about the wide world of Pokémon. Includes information about the various regions such as Kanto, Orange islands, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Unova.

Legendary Pokémon: The Essential Guide : Sinnoh Edition by Katherine Fang.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Sinnoh's Legendary Pokémon is inside this book! Discover the origins of mysterious and unique Pokémon from Azelf to Uxie, Giratina to Shaymin

Pokémon Puzzles and Activities

Pokémon Challenge by Tracey West.

Think you can answer the toughest Pokémon riddles? Believe you have what it takes to be a Pokémon champ? Well, here is your chance to prove it. You will face off against mind-boggling riddles, and solve secret codes. Test your memory skills...plus much more!

Pokémon. Eye See It! : Can You Find Them All? By Maria Barbo

Ash and his friends travel to find Pokémon they can capture, train, and use in battles, in a text where young readers can search for the objects shown at the bottom of each page.

Let's Find Pokémon! by Kazunori Aihara

Look at the pictures and search for the hidden Pokémon. The book is designed to teach children to differentiate shapes as they solve the puzzles. This book will provide hours of fun and excitement for Pokémon fans. Each page is packed with the lovable Pokémon characters, 150 in all, and readers must find them in the busy, colorful scenes. A large format book which features characters from the Pokémon video game and animated television series contains scenes where fans can search for their favorite pocket monsters among the bustle.

How to Draw Pokémon by Tracey West.

Offers step-by-step secret tips on drawing, so grab your pencil. Pick up some paper. And get ready to draw the coolest, most action-packed Pokémon art ever.

Graphic Novels
Pokemon Adventures by Hidenori Kusaka.

Red wants to be friends with the Pokémon as well as their trainer-- can he win over the independent Pikachu?

Pokémon. All That Pikachu!: Ani-manga by Hideki Sonoda.

Pikachu and his Pokémon friends first go on vacation to a Pokémon-only island--which is not as restful as it should be--and then go exploring underground after they accidentally fall through a hole.

Pokémon Black and White. Vol. 1 by Hidenori Kusaka.

Meet Pokémon Trainer Black! His entire life, Black has dreamed of winning the Pokémon League... Now Black embarks on a journey to explore the Unova region and fill a Pokédex for Professor Juniper. Time for Black's first Pokémon Trainer battle ever!

Movies and TV

Pokémon The First Movie

The adventure explodes into action with the debut of Mewtwo. Determined to prove its superiority, Mewtwo lures Ash, Pikachu, and others into a Pokémon match like none before. Mewtwo vs. Mew. Super-clones vs. Pokémon. It is the ultimate showdown...with the very future of the world at stake.

Pokémon 4ever

Introducing Celebi, a green, winged Pokémon with the ability to travel through time. When Celebi is captured, the fate of the entire forest is threatened.

Pokémon Elements. Vol. 1, Grass

Following up with Pokémon's All Star series set, these episodes consist of the most important episodes commemorating the Grass type of Pokémon.

Pokémon Elements. Vol. 2, Fire

Following up with Pokémon's All Star series set, these episodes consist of the most important episodes commemorating the Fire type of Pokémon.

- Briana C.


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