HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Charamander Sees A Ghost: Pokemon Tales, Volume 1
Author: Akihito Toda
Illustrator: Kagemaru Himeno
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC, 1999
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-6
Rating: 3 stars (FAIR)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Toda, Akihito. Charamander Sees A Ghost: Pokemon Tales, Volume 1 (published in 1999 by VIZ Media LLC). This is the first volume in the board- book series based on the popular Nintendo game and television series, featuring collectible fantasy creatures also known as “pocket monsters.” In this tale, Pokmon #4, named Charmander, goes into an old house and sees something that scares it, so it runs over to the house of Pikachu and tells its friends about the ghost it has seen. When both our boys were small, they liked Pokemon. We had several of the Pokemon early readers and chapter books, which were written and published by Americans. However, our younger son Jeremy, even after he learned how to read, still liked to find the Pokemon Tales board books in the library. Perhaps they appealed to him because they were written and published by Japanese, though of course in English!
Several “hardcore” Pokemon lovers had comments on this book with some liking it and others hating it but all pointing out it was not “real” Pokemon, with such comments as “I’d definitely recommend it to little kids, but I wouldn’t recommend it to kids who want to be Pokemon Masters,” or “Clearly not for older kids, but great if you enjoy the Pokemon characters and have a kid that isn’t quite old enough for the more ‘mature’ aspects of this phenomena,” or “I got this book thinking that it would be some cool Pokemon book, but it turned out to be a chubby baby book….It was REALLY boring, but it’s good for toddlers,” or “If your child is at all familiar with the characters of the Pokemon video series, he or she may be disappointed….It tells a VERY simple story involving Charmander.” Other books in this series include Bulbasaur’s Trouble also by Akihito Toda; Come Out, Squirtle! by Tomoaki Imakuni; Pikachu’s Day by Toshinao Aoki; and Snorlax’s Snack by Sumiyashi Kizuki.