Shes the strongest girl in the world. With her carrot-coloured pigtails, her striped mismatched socks and her freckles, shes instantly recognisable. Shes a financially independent child, a reckless but compassionate anarchist with an intolerance for bullies. Shes a feminist role model who has inspired everyone from Michelle Obama to Lady Gaga, Madonna, Amy Poehler, Studio Ghiblis Hayao Miyazaki and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She is regularly compared to Greta Thunberg. Bjorn from ABBA is making a musical about her. 
Her name? Pippilotta Viktualia Rullgardina Krusmynta Efraimsdotter Långstrump. You probably know her better as Pippi Longstocking. And this year, on 21 May 2020, the most famous creation of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren will celebrate her 75th birthday. First published in 1945, the series is now among the most translated childrens books in the world, with more than 70 million copies sold in 77 languages. 
But when The Independent travelled to Stockholm to talk to Bjorn Ulvaeus about the musical, Pippi at the Circus, which debuts this June, it wasnt Pippi who first came up. Its one of my proudest moments, all this time later, he says, when I had lunch with Astrid and she said to me, Youre a little Emil, arent you?
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Download now