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My Life as a Furry Red Monster Reviewed by Marie Davies
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My Life as a Furry Red Monster

By Kevin Clash with Gary Borzek


ISBN: 0-7679-2375-8


Review by Rev. Marie Davies.

Sesame Street’s Elmo has become a children’s entertainment icon but few people know the talented man who gives life to the perpetual three year old.  My Life as a Furry Red Monster introduces us to Kevin Clash, the man behind the Muppet.  Kevin, like Elmo, views life in a singularly insightful manner.  Kevin blends lessons in joy, creativity, tolerance, love , learning and cooperation from his childhood with those learned through portraying the beloved Muppet.


Kevin is a prodigy in puppeteering having learned the craft at early age through experimentation and experience.  But this book is not a star tooting his own horn, Kevin gives more than ample credit to those who helped him along the way. Not the least of the people he assigns credit is his parents and siblings. One particularly humorous lesson in creativity relates how Kevin used the lining from his father’s best coat to craft a monkey puppet. Rather than chastisement and punishment, his parents taught a lesson in respecting other’s property while fostering his creativity.


Having growing up during the 60’s and 70’s, an era marked by racial conflict, Kevin was no stranger to racism. He approaches this painful subject with the same honesty and genuineness with which he faces all his life lessons.  His remembrances of that tumultuous time following the assassination of Martin Luther King, reminds of what a frightening time that was in our history. It is no wonder that Kevin, like so many children, were drawn to vision of Sesame Street, where a big yellow bird can live happily next to a grumpy monster in a trash can and a furry red monster.


Few people grow up to live out their childhood dreams. Kevin Clash did. Rather than taking that for granted Kevin’s gratitude comes forth from every page of My Life as a Furry Red Monster. Just as Elmo delights millions of children around the world, so will this book delight and entertain readers. It is entertainment with a most palatable lesson about life.


Marie Davies-Muse Book Reviewer

Marie Davies has a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary and is the Director of Chaplains for the Maryland State Police.  A charter member of the Muse It Up Club on-line critiquing community, Marie is the author of Calling all Muses: Overcoming Writers Block in the writing anthology The Muse on Writing from Double Dragon.


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