Early in Being Elmo: a Puppeteer’s Journey, I come to understand why we treasure Elmo. Kevin Clash, the creative genius behind the red furball, is in France to train other puppeteers. They’re doing an exercise where they pantomime without puppets so they can observe their hands. Clash is patient with his students, and wants them to follow his example. Watching his hand without a puppet attached, I realized the magic is in Clash. His graceful movements, not Elmo’s cute eyes, are what give the puppet a soul.