We like beetles too. . . so much so that we wish Zallinger had showed us more of them, and a good deal less of the child admirers who discover them in ponds, fields and backyards. Virtually expressionless and slicked over with sharp, unattractive pastels, the pictured youngsters merely distract from Conklin's cozy, informal introduction to a forbidding looking family. If you can excuse the garish color, still a likely way to make friends with such odd characters as the antlered stag beetle, the carrion-burying sexton beetle and the standoffish bombardier beetle.