I would like to reply to some of the negative reviews. It seems to me that the critics appear unaware of the importance of fantasy in helping children make sense of the world. Very young children need to feel that the world is safe and that they are completely secure. But gradually and sensitively we have to introduce them to the reality that difficulties, struggles and suffering are there too. And not only 'out there' but also inside themselves. Don't forget that at 2 years old (the terrible twos) your child is struggling with the need for safety and securtity versus their need to become independent and assert their will. This can lead to a lot of frustration and rage that is perfectly normal and healthy - but can be rather frightening to the child (not to mention exhuasting for the parents!) Fantasy stories are a way for a child to symbolically explore such concepts (but never tell them this!) Their own anger appears in stories as ugly monsters, thwarting real-life parents are nasty giants and so on.
Most children probably fantasise about tiptoeing out of the house and going on an adventure. They would actually never do it - but they like to explore the idea of freedom from controlling parents. As for the teacher who binned this book - presumably you veto Little Red Riding Hood on the grounds that children shouldn't be encouraged to wander the forest alone???
Yes, Hannah is sad and neglected - and of course *you* never neglect your child. Are you telling me that you've ALWAYS given your child 100% immediate attention? Of course not. But those times when you're too busy to pay attention and say "Not now, darling, in a minute" feels like deep neglect to a child! You can see that it's a perfectly reasonable request, but the child may not.
To me, this story is very good way into some of the difficulties of life. I would recommend it as just one of a varied reading diet for your kids.