There's much ado about nothing in this forced-into-fiction look at the world of beetles. A drunk Goliath beetle is roused from his stupor by a lowly ladybug to preside over royal court proceedings concerning bedlam in beetle land. Bark beetles are the culprits, accused of killing trees and making them sing before they die. An array of witnesses are marched in to give testimony. Through this contrivance readers gain introduction to individual members of the beetle kingdom--the fiddler beetle, click beetle, dung beetle, etc. Although beetles elicit natural interest among children, their uniqueness is lost amidst the anthropomorphisms of this picture-book charade. The overly purposeful courtroom drama serves as a prop for the exploration of beetles; van Kampen, a talented artist whose illustrated glossary shows her capacity for clean, clear presentation, stuffs the canvas with bombastic beetles in commotion rather than motion. A fascinating subject marred by pretension.