Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
The Pokemon Visual Guide was written by Katherine Fang and Cris Silvestri, and was published in 2008. This book, which is 159 pages in length, covers the basics of the world of Pokemon, and it contains sections devoted to each region (Kanto, Orange Islands, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh).
The Pokemon basics included in the book are a timeline of when each season of the series started airing, information on Ash Ketchum (the main protagonist of the series), essential gear for a Pokemon trainer, information about Poke Balls, as well as some other facts and trivia.
For the regions, each section includes a map, a brief description of the region, important trainers from the region, the professor for the region, information about various competitions and locations in the region, the Legendary Pokemon for the region, and then a section featuring all of the Pokemon that appear in that region.
I have to say that when it comes to Pokemon information, this is the most comprehensive book I have read yet; in fact, it's even more comprehensive than the Pokemon Ultimate Handbook. However, I do have a couple of complaints about the book. First, the quality of the pictures included in the book is very inconsistent. Some of the pictures and very sharp and clear, and are obviously good quality screenshots from the series. However, some of the pictures included have a very grainy feel, almost as if someone had to use a picture that was run through a color photocopier.
Also, I found a number of typos throughout the book. Most of these typos were simple mistakes that managed to escape the eye of an editor. However, on the page for Regice, Regirock, and Registeel, the pronunciation guide for Regirock was attached to Registeel, and the pronunciation guide for Registeel was attacked to Regirock.
While a bit of the information included in the book can be gleaned from watching the Pokemon anime series, there are still some interesting tidbits to be found. For example, in the sections for Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny, it explains how the Joys and Jennys from the different regions can be distinguished. As a reader, I did appreciate all of the information that the authors included. They could have been lazy and not included some of the "well-known" information, but I believe the authors took the position that they couldn't assume that everyone reading the book knows the Pokemon anime series inside and out.
Outside of the picture quality and the typos, this really is a good and comprehensive book about Pokemon. It really should be in the collection of anyone who considers themselves a fan of Pokemon.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of this book that my son received as a Christmas present.