Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
The Pokemon Junior Handbook: Meet Buizel and Friends book was published by Scholastic in 2009. This book is definitely aimed at the youngest fans of Pokemon, especially those who are just learning how to read or are beginning readers. It's 24 pages long, and only includes some of the Pokemon from the Sinnoh region. However, it should be noted that 24 other Pokemon were already featured in the previous book, the Pokemon Junior Handbook: Pikachu and Pals.
The book opens with the same "Meet the Pokemon Trainers" that appears at the beginning of the Pokemon Junior Handbook: Pikachu and Pals. After this, the book goes directly into the Pokemon that are featured in this book. The information for each Pokemon includes its name, its species, brief stats, how to pronounce its name, its type, its height, and its weight. At the bottom of each page is a "Fun Fact" for the Pokemon on the page.
The Pokemon included in this book are: Aipom, Beautifly, Buizel, Buneary, Cacnea, Carnivine, Chingling, Cleffa, Drifloon, Finneon, Hippopotas, Igglybuff, Meowth, Mime Jr., Pachirisu, Pichu, Raichu, Riolu, Shaymin (Sky Forme only), Skorupi, Swinub, and Wooper. It should be noted that I did discover a minor typo in the "Stats" section for Beautifly.
Now that I've seen this book, I can now see why some of Pokemon I expected to see in the Pokemon Junior Handbook: Pikachu and Pals weren't there; it turned out they were saved for this volume. For the most part, I agree with most of the choices in this book as being "the cutest and most popular" Pokemon in the Sinnoh region. However, I'm not really sure that Pokemon like Carnivine and Skorupi can really been considered "cute."
Unlike the other Pokemon handbooks that have been released, this one is definitely much simpler. Not only was the number of Pokemon included in the book limited to a small number, but there is no reference to any of the Pokemon's evolution types in the book. My guess would be that it was thought that including information on the evolutions would be potentially confusing for the young readers that this book is aimed at.
My youngest daughter enjoys looking through this book as much as she does the Pokemon Junior Handbook: Pikachu and Pals. She enjoys looking at the pictures in this book, and she also likes having someone read the book to her. While she may not be able to read much of the book herself right now, she still is getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. Unlike the other Pokemon handbooks, I really can't recommend it for older kids or adults.
If you have a young child at home who enjoys Pokemon, but isn't quite old enough for the regular Pokemon handbooks, then I would definitely recommend the Pokemon Junior Handbook: Meet Buizel and Friends.
I wrote this review after looking through a copy of this book that my younger daughter got as a Christmas present.