SCOUTS, by the editors of Time-Life Books with text by Keith Wheeler (Time-Life, $10.95). For the right family - a couple of kids who love televison Westerns and parents with a little time to read out loud - this might seem an ideal book. The text is fairly easy to follow, without being condescending, and humorous without slipping into cuteness. There are lavish color reproductions of paintings depicting the heroic Buffalo Bill Cody - one especially admiring composition was commissioned by Cody himself - and surprisingly clear and moving photographs of Geronimo, first seen as "free and hostile" in 1886 and last as an old man in a Wild West show in 1905. The great failing of this volume, one in a series abou the Old West, is that the Indians are "bad guys" while the encroaching cavalry and white settlers are victims of unmerited treacheries, etc. At one point, for example, an Army general is "well aware of Apache infamy." There are accounts of Indian massacres and of the "savagery that made them seem devils incarnate," but no indication of the atrocities inflicted upon Indians by whites. The editor of this book should be required to furnish Dee Brown (author of the groundbreaking Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) equal time for rebuttal.