Carla Stevens is the author of Catch a Cricket among other good things, and this less-displayable, more usable book is even better. It's big for an easy-to-read (96 pp.) and, in its self-limited way, almost encyclopedic, telling all you need to know to find and catch, house and feed, observe and investigate some common but not necessarily commonplace insects: whirligigs and water striders, praying mantids, ladybird beetles, fireflies, antlions, and field crickets. Equally wise to the ways of children and the ways of insects, Stevens advises putting a no-longer-wanted insect ""back where you found it"" to live out its ""short life""; introduces information as part of the child's insect experience (""Smell your fingers. . . . Whirligigs give off an odor that is like the smell of ripe apples""); attempts to avert disaster (""Do not put the [mantid] tank in the sun!""); and suggests intriguing lines of experiment: ""Did your ladybird eat the same number of aphids each day?"" The antlion--also known as the doodle bug--is a sufficiently curious creature to warrant a whole book to itself (""How does your antlion dig its pit? ""What happened when the grasshopper began to slide into the trap?""). But there's an anthouse fascination about the whole enterprise-along with pen sketches that, without anthropomorphizing, invest the insects with an archy-and-mehitabel personality.