Freddy the fox and Frito the mouse play together every day. The only problem is that rules always seem to get in the way of fun for these best friends in Freddy & Frito and the Clubhouse Rules (2015) by Alison Friend.
Hoping to find their own place that isn’t too crowded, small, noisy, or dark, the youngsters decide to build a tree house with no rules. While constructing it, they learn about the give-and-take of friendship (not to mention one smelly way to deal with rambunctious guests at their clubhouse-warming party).
Friend’s digitally colored pencil drawings have painterly detail, and the expressive animals have plenty of child appeal. The artwork varies between full spreads and smaller thumbnail vignettes throughout.
Changing layouts (including a vertical page) lend a frenetic quality to the story. Full paragraphs of text make for a lengthy read better suited to older storytime audiences. An enjoyable choice for prompting discussions of cooperation and friendship.
*A more condensed version of this review appeared in an issue of School Library Journal from which it can be seen on various sites online*