Maurice Sendak, the author of children's books who died on Tuesday, was not afraid to say that childhood was scary. He knew that first-hand. His literature could be as dark as it was enchanting.

But Sendak's work wasn't bleak, either. When Max came back from the land of the wild things, after all, his supper was there was waiting for him. And it was still hot.

As much I treasured that book as a child, I treasure it even more as a parent. I know I'm not the only one.

R.I.P.

Editors note: We've unlocked a 1996 piece by our art critic  Jed Perl on Sendak's illustrations.