You can still argue that as an icon it sucks. I do it with children's books and classic rock bands all the time.
Anyway...it's a great fucking book. I used to read it to Sen Jr., Sen the Third and Sen the Fourth all the time. Anything by Maurice Sendak is good.
There's a video of the book that basically just shows the pages of the book and has some famous person reading it. It's a really cool video because all the music is like this mad Russian Klezmer stuff. I think Sendak's a major player in the Russian Jew world.
The video also has One Was Johnny and Chicken Soup With Rice on it and I think it's Carly Simon that sings some songs using the words rather than just reading the words. The songs are actually pretty cool in a gay way.
I took a children's lit class at Uni and went from the library to a pub one time. I had a copy of In The Night Kitchen with me and sat down to tuck into my ploughman's. I was reading the book when this woman came over and said it was her favorite book. We got to chatting and ended up going out that night. Children's books are bigger chick magnets than guitars.