It would be an understatement to say my son likes Pokémon. It’s not a thing I even pretend to understand, but he spends most of his free time watching Pokémon on TV and reading books all about it. I’m firmly of the opinion that all reading is good reading and I’m just happy that he’s happy to spend a few happy hours reading all about his latest obsession. I’ve picked out six of the best Pokémon books in his collection.
Six of the Best Pokémon Books
The Pokémon Encyclopedia is the official guide to all things Pokémon. You can become a real Pokémon expert with this guide to the animated series. It is jam-packed with Pokémon stories, lessons, facts and figures. The Pokémon Encyclopedia is the definitive reference for key characters, battles and places. It’s an absolute must-have for all Pokémon fans.
How to Draw Pokémon: 50 Pokémon to Learn to Draw is the best book for Pokémon fans to learn how to draw Pokémon characters. It contains 50 Pokémon, including all your favourite characters.
The Ultimate Pokémon Trainer’s Guide by Ned Hartley is a 64 page softback book packed with everything you need to know about Pokémon including reviews, facts, stats and tips. This is a really comprehensive book about Pokémon. It’s absolutely the kind of book kids like my son adore. Every page is packed with facts and stats and it’s perfect for dipping in and out of. You can read our full review of this book here.
The Official Pokémon 1001 Sticker Book is jam-packed with over 1001 stickers featuring Pokémon old and new from across the seven regions. Explore the city in Kanto, the mountaintops in Johto, the beach in Alola – and lots more! Re-create epic battles and use your stickers to complete the scenes in the ultimate Pokémon sticker book.
For his birthday every year I bake my son a birthday cake. Each year he presents me with a set of grand plans for the cake, and each year I tone down his idea a little to something I can manage with my limited skills. Over the years I’ve learned how to bake pretty darn good cakes, but decorating them is where I fall down. I don’t like to disappoint, so when he asked for a Pokemon birthday cake, then rattled off an extensive list of characters I decided it would be best to make a simple Pokeball design with a colourful rainbow sponge inside.
It’s actually very simple and you don’t need loads of cake decorating skills to do it. If you can roll out icing and cut shapes out with a knife, you’ve got all the skills you need.
The finish of my cake was not perfect, but I had already spent a lot of time faffing about with the rainbow layers, and no one cared really. He was thrilled with his birthday cake, which is all that matters really.
How to make a Pokemon Pokeball Birthday Cake
You will need:
5 layers of sponge cake, rainbow coloured if you like
Vanilla buttercream, I used 2 tubs of Betty Crocker
1 packet of marzipan
2 packets of white ready to roll royal icing
Red ready to roll royal icing
Black ready to roll royal icing
A cake board
How to make a Pokemon Pokeball Birthday Cake
To begin with I baked the rainbow layers. I made up a double batch of my victoria sponge recipe and using a set of scales divided it into equal portions. I then mixed through a few drops of the colouring from this set of 8 food paste colours. When you do this remember that the colour darkens in the oven, so mix it a shade or two lighter than you’d like. Once baked, leave them until they’re completely cool before assembling the cake.
To stack the cake, using a palette knife put a dab of the buttercream in the centre of the cake board. If you’re using rainbow cake, decide which order your rainbow layers will go and place the bottom layer on top of the blob of buttercream. This will help to anchor your cake in place and stop it sliding about.
Spread a layer of buttercream on top of your first layer and top it with your next cake, cover that with buttercream and continue until all the layers are stacked.
Now it’s time to apply the crumb coat, which just means cover the whole of the cake in a thin layer of buttercream. This is so the cake crumbs stay where they should be and it will also help stick the marzipan to the cake. Once you’ve done this, put the cake to one side, somewhere cool.
Now it’s time to roll the marzipan out. I used icing sugar to stop it sticking to my work surface and rolling pin. Roll it out as thin as you please. My marzipan was pretty thin, but not so thin it could easily tear; perhaps about the thickness of a pound coin. You’ll need to roll out quite a big piece of marzipan to cover the cake in one go, and it might be worth measuring how much area you need to cover with a piece of string.
Lift the marzipan with the rolling pin and drape it over the cake. Use your hands to smooth it down and all over the cake. You may need to trim some of the folds back so the finish is smoother. It doesn’t matter how this layer looks because it will be covered with the royal icing, but it does need to be pretty smooth and even all over. Take your time doing this.
Now for the hardest bit. Take your white royal icing and put some to one side for later. Then roll out the rest of the icing, again using icing sugar to stop it sticking to the work top. When you’ve rolled out a piece as big as you need, brush the marzipan all over with water and carefully lift the icing onto the cake. Take as long as you need to gently smooth the icing over the cake. I find the warmth of my hands helps to smooth it out. This layer needs to be super smooth, so take your time to get it right.
After that you probably need to sit down with a cup of tea for a bit, so do that before you do the next bit.
Now it the time to turn your plain white cake into a Pokeball. Just like before, roll out the red royal icing. Take one of your cake tins and use it to trace a semi circle the size of the cake. I then used a shot glass (don’t judge me) to cut out a small semi circle on the straight edge of the icing. Brush half of the top of your cake with a little bit of water, not too much as your colours may start to run and gently press on the red semi circle of icing.
Roll out the black icing and cut out a black circle the size of a shot glass. Using a knife cut out a circle so you have a black ring. Then cut out a long strip of the black icing the diameter of the cake. Have a look at the picture below and using a dab of water fix the icing where it should be.
Finally cut out a circle of white royal icing to sit in the black ring. Stick it in place with a dab of water and your Pokeball birthday cake is done.
It’s a really straightforward design and frankly if I can do it, I’m sure you can too!
If you enjoyed this you might also like to try and make these birthday cakes –
AD/Gifted. The school holidays can be hard to fill with fun stuff. I like to secretly get a small collection of fun stuff to pull out when the mood dips and he complains he’s bored. One of the things in my secret bag of wonders was a copy of The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer’s Guide which he received with a squeal of absolute joy.
The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer’s Guide by Ned Hartley is published on 2nd May 2019. It costs £7.99 and is a 64 page softback book packed with everything you need to know about Pokemon including reviews, facts, stats and tips.
The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer’s Guide is divided into three sections. In the first section, all the classic games are reviewed, from Pokemon Go, to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon and Pokemon: Let’s go Pikachu!
In the second section you can find more facts, figures and fun. With information about the TV shows, movies and the trading card game. Section three is where you can find the complete Pokemon encyclopedia, with entries on all 800+ Pokemon, including strengths, weaknesses and combat skills; in fact everything a Pokemon trainer needs to know!
This is a really comprehensive book about Pokemon. It’s absolutely the kind of book kids like my son adore. Every page is packed with facts and stats and it’s perfect for dipping in and out of.
The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer’s Guide is aimed at children aged 7+ and my 8 year old is thoroughly enjoying it. He’s had it for a few days now and he has got a lot out of it. I’m a big fan of letting kids read whatever they are interested in, because pretty much all reading is good.
The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer’s Guide is colourful, really well illustrated, packed full of Pokemon info and pitched at just the right level. Pokemon is showing no signs of falling out of fashion, and keenly priced at £7.99, The Ultimate Pokemon Trainer’s Guide is the ideal book to entertain an aspiring Pokemon trainer!
Help to motivate your little Pokemon fans to read with this handy reading log. Just colour in a Pokeball for every book they read, or for every 20 minutes they read for and reward them with a little treat for completing the sheet!
If you’re the parent of a primary school aged child you will probably be tasked with listening to them read each night. We love listening to our son read and we love reading to him too. We regard it as a special quiet time where we sit together and get transported to another world.
It’s not all sitting on a magic carpet happily listening to a child read; sometimes it’s a bit harder to get him to read, especially if he’s not interested in the books he’s been sent home with. In those situations we usually promise the reading of a favourite book once the less exciting school reading has been finished. That way we get the best of both worlds.
Our son is very motivated by rewards, it doesn’t have to be big; a sticker or 20p for his jar is very well received. He loves Pokemon so I devised this Pokemon reading log for him. If he reads for 20 minutes he gets to colour a Pokeball in. Or if he finishes a book within those 20 minutes he colours one in too.
Once he’s completed a sheet he gets a treat. Again it’s nothing huge; he might get to choose a Netflix film for us to watch with some popcorn, or he might get a trip out to his favourite local museum.
We’ve found that this Pokemon reading log really does help to motivate and encourage him to read. He’s obsessed with anything with Pokemon on, so this reading log is a real winner!
Pokemon is as popular as ever; with both big kids and little kids collecting cards, chasing down the characters and playing the games. I know the big thing at the moment is collecting and swapping the cards with friends at school. It is a fun, sociable activity for kids to get involved in. If you’ve got a Pokemon fan in the family, I’ve picked out some Pokemon themed presents which would delight any keen collector on Christmas Day!
Snuggle up with your own Pokemon plush toy. Made by Tomy, this officially licensed 8” plush features one of the most popular characters from the series – Popplio. This lovely Popplio plush is about 20cm tall, and is very soft and cuddly and well made. As well as the popular Popplio, you can also collect Jigglypuff, Eevee, Riolu, Banette, Hoopa, Sylveon, Togepi, Pichu, Psyduck, Litten, Rowlet and Zygarde.
Keen collectors need a safe place to store their cards. This Pokemon Tin includes a starter collection of 50 Cards including holograms and rare cards. It’s the perfect gift for anyone starting out or for those who would like a 50 card boost to their collection and a handy tin to keep them in.This Pokemon Shining Legends Collector Chest Game is a treasure trove of Pokémon goodies! This sturdy metal case contains more than a dozen special treats. The Pokémon Shining Legends Collector Chest includes five Shining Legends booster packs, three foil promo cards featuring Pikachu, Latinas, and Latinos! Plus a cool Pokémon coin, two colourful sticker sheets, a collector’s album to store your favourite cards, a Pokémon notepad and pencils.
Whatever you buy for the Pokemon fan in your life, I’m sure they’ll love it. You could stuff a stocking with collectors cards maybe. Or if you’re buying them a soft plush toy from Tomy; a collectors tin or a whole case full of exciting Pokemon themed goodies; they’re bound to have a great day collecting them all.