It’s summertime, and that means summer reading challenges are all the craze. When kids leave the structure of school, it can be easy to fall into the summer slide—students can lose up to two months of reading ability if their literacy skills aren’t nurtured! And when the dog days of summer hit, reading fun books is a great way for kids to stay both educated and entertained.
It doesn’t need to be Dostoevsky or Austen. The best way to nurture a child’s reading ability is to get them books that pique their interest. What better stories can you try than Pokémon books? The beloved video game, card game, and cartoon also comes with a series of standalone stories, cartoon novelizations, and activity books—and don’t forget the classic manga.
Even the most hesitant young reader will be turning the page to learn more about these curious creatures. Check out these 10 great Pokémon books for your kids or for the kid in you.
I Choose You!
This book, penned by Tracey West, is the first book of the Pokémon series based on the anime. Ash Ketchum sets off on his adventure to be the world’s greatest Pokémon master. He needs to capture and train every Pokémon he can find. Too bad he wakes up too late to receive his first Pokémon from Professor Oak! The only Pokémon left is a stubborn, mischievous Pikachu.
Ash must learn how to get along with his new friend, who is more interested in electrifying him than following his training. As the two build trust, the villainous Team Rocket realize Ash’s Pikachu is much more powerful than it first appeared. They set out to steal Pikachu, and Ash must rely on his new friendships with trainers Misty and Brock to keep Pikachu safe. If your reader wants to know how the adventure all began, definitely pick up a copy of this book.
As Pokémon has grown over the years, Ash and friends have explored eight different regions, discovering new Pokémon along the way. This atlas has readers join Ash on a journey through each location of the Pokémon world, from the hidden villages in Kanto to the great lakes of Johto. Readers can embark on adventures like island-hopping in Hoenn and surfing in Alolan beaches.
With Ash as a guide, readers new to Pokémon can use this colorful guide to immerse themselves in the Pokémon world’s lore. Spark your young reader’s interest in geography, biology, and history with their favorite characters’ stories. Maps show readers each region’s major cities and landmarks, subtly teaching them spatial awareness and navigation. Pokédex inserts categorize Pokémon by type and rarity, introducing young readers to taxonomy. Following Ash’s adventures through each region introduce readers to fictional cultures and customs.
For kids, playing is learning. Help them learn much more than Pokémon by letting them run free with this creative atlas.
The Great Pancake Race
Fresh and relaxed on Alola Island, Ash and Pikachu train to compete in the annual Pokémon Pancake Race. The winner receives a grand prize of one year of free pancakes! But the dynamic duo has heavy competition: Nina and her Alolan Raichu, a psychic and electric variant, won last year’s race and have trained hard to keep their first-place titles.
Ash and Pikachu practice, but they can’t keep up with the floating Raichu. Their training catches the attention of the dastardly Team Rocket, who switch gears from trying to steal Pikachu to trying to win pancakes for themselves. Based on an exciting episode of the animated TV series, to find out who wins, your young reader will have to check out the rest of the book. It’s perfect for practicing phonics and reading comprehension too.
All About Eevee
If there is one Pokémon who could usurp Pikachu’s title as the cutest Pokémon mascot, that would be the amazing Eevee. Known for its ability to evolve into nine different adorable forms, this fluffy foxlike Pokémon is a fan favorite.
This guidebook explains each Eeveelution with meticulous detail and fun, colorful illustrations. Young readers will enjoy poring through these pages on their own or using it to practice reading aloud. The book is well-suited for early elementary, with a few tough vocabulary words thrown in to give them a little challenge. And don’t forget the glossy posters!
Pokémon Pocket Comics
While parents might push their kids to read chapter books, comics and graphic novels improve children’s reading skills just like any other book. Comics combine the text and images to help readers make inferences and think about elements of storytelling—and their splashy pictures are a lot of fun too!
A great book for comic lovers is the Pokémon Pocket Comics, packed full of activities and silly stories featuring your favorite Pokémon. In the latest installment, Litten, Rockruff, and Popplio team up with Pikachu and Psyduck to romp through pages of four-panel comics. Plus, fun puzzles and creative projects will keep kids entertained through long road trips or rainy days stuck inside. If your readers love this book, there are four others to try, too.
The Power of One
For a young reader looking for a little more challenge, novelizations of the Pokémon movies can be a good bet. In this book, Ash and Pikachu travel with friends to the Orange Islands, where three legendary birds—Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres—wreak havoc while being poached by the greedy collector, Lawrence III.
Lawrence III attempts to ensnare these legendary birds to hunt the mythical Pokémon Lugia. However, his hunting upsets the balance set between the three birds, and weather around the world goes haywire as the birds fight with each other. Ash and Pikachu must figure out how to set things right, all while the mighty Lugia awakens from its slumber.
Pokémon Super Deluxe Essential Handbook
With 27 years under its belt, Pokémon has bloomed into quite the expansive universe—between all the different regions and variants, more than 800 Pokémon exist to catch and love.
As Professor Oak might say, if you want to catch ‘em all, you gotta read about ‘em all. This kid-friendly reference book is packed with 496 illustrated, full-color pages featuring comprehensive details on each cartoon critter. Use it as a reference for drawings and to assemble the best trainer team.
Secret of the Pink Pokémon
While exploring the Orange Islands, Ash and friends are swept away by a massive whirlpool. The ocean spits them out on Pinkan Island, where every Pokémon, no matter the type, shares the same trait. They are all a vibrant shade of bubblegum pink!
As the team investigates, they discover the island’s pink fruits are responsible for the pink Pokémon. However, their pink hue puts them in danger from poachers. And as luck would have it, Team Rocket lurks in the bushes, plotting for the best way to steal these rare Pokémon. Ash and his friends must figure out how to thwart Team Rocket and find their way off the island.
How to Draw Pokémon
Sometimes you gotta catch ‘em all, and sometimes you gotta draw ‘em all. For budding artists and trainers, this book walks you through a step-by-step guide for illustrating Pokémon and developing your own action-packed battle scenes. If you ever wanted to draw your own Pokémon adventures, this book is the place to start. (Plus, the deluxe edition has stickers!)
Pokémon Adventures: Red, Green & Blue
This manga series is based on the events of the Pokémon games, and Pokémon’s creator Satoshi Tajiri has stated it's the closest to how he imagined the Pokémon universe to be. The first story follows the video game protagonist, Red, who gains a Pokédex from Professor Oak and trains against his rival Blue and the con artist Green.
When Team Rocket kidnaps Professor Oak to create a Mewtwo, the three rivals must team up to come to Oak’s rescue. Written by Hidenori Kusaka, the manga can be enjoyed in its original Japanese or its translated English editions.