Kitchen Table Reviews: Pokémon Ultimate Handbook
While Mir's daughter is away, she indulges her son by reading the book that tells you everything about Pokémon.
I've been hanging on to the Pokémon Ultimate Handbook for a while, now, waiting for just the right time to present it to my son. I had a feeling it would cause the top of his head to blow off and his mouth to move endlessly, talking about weird creatures that have a tendency to make my daughter's and my eardrums bleed.
With my daughter away on a school trip, and I decided it was time to take one for the team. You're welcome.
Me: So, I'm guessing that you-
Son: Mom! This is the greatest Pokémon book ever! It has all the Pokémon in it, and all the Legendaries, and it tells you everything you could ever want to know about them! How to pronounce their names, all their stats, everything.
Me: Wait. Back up-what's a Legendary? Is that something different?
Son: A Legendary is a Pokémon where there's only one of it in the entire world. They're unique and usually very old and also very powerful. And see, they don't evolve, so you know it's a Legendary when it's listed as "Does not evolve."
Me: Ahhh, I see. Now, I know you have a couple other Pokémon guides. Is this one better?
Son: Yep, I have the two that came before this one, but one only has some of the Pokémon and the other one is a guide to the TV show, not the characters. This has everything.
Bear in mind, I was looking at the same book he was. But Pokémon causes my eyes to glaze over, but I was trying to focus. So I tried to ask an intelligent question, based upon what little data I could extract from my brain.
Me: I know you've been big into Pokémon Diamond and Pearl lately. This book has the Pokémon from that?
Son: Yes, of course! See where it says what region they're from? Diamond and Pearl is about creatures from the Sinnoh region, and they're all in here.
Me: Oh! Cool. And, um, I see it lists Pokémon type, too. Is there an index so you could go look up water types, or Sinnoh or some other region?
Son: [flipping through] Nope. That's okay! I like to read the whole thing! Oooh, this guy has Seismic Toss! Which one is your favorite?
Me: I... uhhh... I'm not sure. This one has... aromatherapy...? I'll take him.
Then I gave him a quarter in exchange for a promise that I wouldn't have to talk about Pokémon again for at least a month. Frankly, I think I got off cheap.
Pros: Definitive Pokémon guide for enthusiasts. Vocabulary-builder. Will occupy my son for hours on end.
Cons: It's a whole lot of Pokémon for those of us who aren't particularly fond of Pokémon. No indexing. Having to pick my favorite Pokémon.
Pokémon Ultimate Handbook gets two thumbs up (even though my other thumb might be jammed in my ear, while I chant "lalalala I can't hear you") at our kitchen table.